“We’re going to give you your school back”

California high school students recreate their high school, brick by brick, in the virtual world of Minecraft. NBC's Jennifer Bjorklund reports.

(NBC News) — Two California teens have created a virtual home away from home to help ease the stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

When the virus closed their campus, Western Center Academy juniors Rebecca Pizzitola and Caroline Lovett rebuilt the school, brick by brick, in Minecraft.

“Ever since school closed, I had been trying to think of ways that we could keep something normal, because this is not a normal situation at all,” says Pizzitola.

“The actual building process took 18 days,” Lovett explains.

And millions of blocks. 9,852,258 to be exact.

From posters and decor that make each teacher’s room special, to the principal’s dog, Olive, in his office, they turned fragments of code into something that seemed like home.

“You feel like you’re in the room, at least we do,” Lovett says.

“Just being able to log on and see something every day that I usually see every day, even if I’m not actually there. It was really helpful and coping with all this mess,” Pizzitola adds.