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Students to return to new school
121508 NEW SHS 04 web
The new Statesboro High cafeteria continues to take shape. School officials say the newly constructed portion of the school will be mostly ready for the students’ return on January 7.
    Statesboro High School students will be going back to classes Jan. 7 in a new building, said Bulloch County Assistant School Superintendent Charles Wilson.
    ‘The classrooms, cafeteria, commons area — everything except the new gym and auditorium” will be ready for students when they return from winter break, he said.
    By  that time, just a few weeks away, the main parking area will be completed, as well as the front entrance and visitors’ parking lot, he said.
    When students left the old classrooms the last day before winter break began, it may not have appeared the new construction would be ready. However, it will, Wilson said. “In two weeks it will look completely different.”
    An open house Jan. 6 will provide students and parents  the opportunity to tour the new school. They will also pick up their new schedules for  the second semester, he said.
    Lockers have already been assigned, and textbooks will be checked out in  the media center. All students will need upon return are paper, notebooks, pens and pencils -” basic school supplies,” he said.
    The new school building has two stories. Grades 9 and 10 are upstairs, while grades 11 and 12 are below. The hallways are mostly grade-specific, meaning students will take classes with other students in their own grades, and interacting with students in other grades will  be limited to classes like electives, he said.
    This limits traffic and having each grade isolated is safe, said SHS Principal Dr. Marty Waters.
    The school is safer than before, because “ there are two vantage points where administrators can stand and see down two wings at once,” he said. When administrators are not supervising activity in hallways, other staff members monitor the hallways from these vantage points at all times, he said.
    Some classrooms such as band, chorus and drama, the engineering lab, the auto lab, and construction lab, will remain as they are, connected to the old gym and locker rooms. The old gym is tied into the new construction and houses physical education classes and practices for sports.
    A commons area is incorporated into a cafeteria, and can be used for proms and other events. Concessions can be sold for events there, in the new gym or the auditorium, all connected by the commons areas.
    An access road leading from U.S. 80 East is not a route through campus, but a road for school buses and students parking. “It will not be a public road,” Waters said.
    Each classroom is equipped with “ Smartboards,” Wilson said. These dry-erase boards are also connected to computers and allow students to be interactive.
    Teachers were busy last week moving shelves, supplies, classroom projects and more into their new rooms. Priscilla Mosley had her room almost finished, with a room filled with student projects.
    “This has become the template” for teachers modeling their classrooms after Mosley’s design, Waters said.
    But while Mosley is excited, she had mixed feelings about leaving behind her room in the old school, a building where she has taught for many years.
    “I almost cried,” she said. “I had been in that school for 27 years, been in that hall... to see me move on, I’ll probably cry when I see them knock it down. It’s a part of history I am leaving behind.”
    She said it hurt to leave her old classroom, but moving into the new one is an effective balm.
    “Let me tell you, it’s fresh and bright, a window! I haven’t had a window before. New light, it’s breath taking to be in a brand new place. Maybe now I can teach another 10 years.”
    Mosley hopes the brand new school will inspire students/
    They’re so anxious to see it,” she said. “I think their attitudes will be better and they’ll respect the new school and do better.”
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414. 
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