Amish children carrying lunch pails arrived Monday morning at a new school symbolizing a new beginning for the students who survived a shooting that killed five of their classmates exactly six months ago.

The New Hope Amish School, a few hundred yards from the spot where the massacre took place, is protected by more sophisticated locks on its doors and is reachable only by a private drive.

It replaces the West Nickel Mines Amish School, which was torn down Oct. 12. Ten days earlier, milk truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV shot 10 girls inside the school and then committed suicide as police closed in.

"For an Amish one-room schoolhouse, this one is spectacular," Bart Township zoning officer John Coldiron said Monday morning.

The building does not have electricity or a phone but is bright inside due to skylights and windows, he said. At the front of the building is a steel door that locks from the inside.

Coldiron said one of the parents told him that blacktop was installed instead of gravel because the children remembered Roberts' truck spinning gravel on the day of the shooting.

A state police vehicle was parked at the end of the driveway. No trespassing signs have been posted along the main road since Friday.

Dan Baughman, an 81-year-old retired physical education teacher who has lived in this community since the 1960s, said the students — including a boy who helps him with yard work — have told him they are excited about the new schoolhouse.

"They're elated that they have a new school but nevertheless it's going to bring back forcefully that day six months ago," he said.

The new school's construction costs were paid for in part with a portion of more than $4 million in donations to the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee, the primary organization collecting donations on behalf of the victims.

The money also has helped to provide care for the five girls who were wounded by Roberts.

Four of the five wounded girls have returned to school. The fifth girl, a 6-year-old, is fed by a feeding tube and is not able to communicate, according to Mike Hart of the Bart Township Fire Department, who is also a committee member.

Roberts' widow, Marie, and their three children have moved from their home in the village of Georgetown, about a mile from the shooting, to another community within Lancaster County, according to Hart.

Charles Roberts, apparently tormented by an unconfirmed memory of having molested relatives 20 years earlier, and by the 1997 death of his own infant daughter, shot and killed himself. Amish families attended his burial service.

The new school, partially made of brick, also was funded by donations made directly to the school board, and by in-kind contributions.

Dan Baughman, an 81-year-old retired physical education teacher who has lived in this community since the 1960s, said the students — including a boy who helps him with yard work — have told him they are excited about the new schoolhouse.

"They're elated that they have a new school but nevertheless it's going to bring back forcefully that day six months ago," he said.

The new school's construction costs were paid for in part with a portion of more than $4 million in donations to the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee, the primary organization collecting donations on behalf of the victims.

The money also has helped to provide care for the five girls who were wounded by Roberts.

Four of the five wounded girls have returned to school. The fifth girl, a 6-year-old, is fed by a feeding tube and is not able to communicate, according to Mike Hart of the Bart Township Fire Department, who is also a committee member.