PUNTA GORDA -- Ten years ago, to the day, Hurricane Charley took the roof off Charlotte High School. It destroyed the football field and ruined the scoreboard.
"The football field. I played on that field," said current Charlotte High School teacher, Paul DeGaeta, "There was just stuff strewn all over it," he said, "The bleachers were blown all away. It was a mess"
The alumni who went to school at Charlotte High ten years ago could come back and barely recognize the place.
"Old stadium, old bleachers, old facilities," listed said Athletic Director Brian Nolan,"our baseball and softball fields were shabby at best."
Before Charley, the school says, there were no plans to rennovate anything. After Charley, however, leaders decided this was their chance to make everything top notch.
"Hurricane Charley came down and it really did us a favor," Nolan said.
It took roughly $80 million to fix everything from the school to the weight room. As you look around the athletic fields, you can see they're now second to none.
"To see the stadium now," said DeGaeta, "to see it ten years ago, it was just night and day."
The only remnants of Charley is what's called the "Hurricane Hole" which is tucked in a corner of the school. The "no tresspassing" sign, FEMA blankets and posters of news articles remind the students to come that Charlotte High School and its athletic program has more than a history; it has tradition and pride.