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An open house and ribbon cutting was held at the new Grayson Highlands School in the Grant community Aug. 3, giving students, parents and members of the community the opportunity to tour the new facility.
School Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas said this was the first new school built in the Wilson District since 1930.
She apologized to the large crowd because there was no air conditioning. She said lightning struck a compressor, which was being replaced.
Thomas said everyone in the school system was excited about the new school and looked forward to the opening today, Monday.
”This school is built not only for the students but also the community,” Thomas said. “We will have an indoor walking area and the cafeteria was built to where the rest of the school could be closed off if the community wants to sponsor a community function.”
Thomas thanked the Grayson County School Board and Board of Supervisors for all their time and effort in making the school a reality.
Shannon Holdaway, school board vice-chairman and the Wilson District representative, said the western end of Grayson County was sometimes forgotten.
"We now have something to be proud of in our district — a beautiful new school,” Holdaway said.
He said Mount Rogers School and Bridle Creek Elementary School, both of which will close when the new school opens, had been strong schools for many years.
“The new school offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a new beginning,” he said.
Larry Bartlett, board of supervisors chairman, complimented the school board “for working hard to accomplish what we have today.”
He said the new school would provide children a good opportunity to learn and serve many generations to come. The school offered the best in facilities, including a “beautiful, modern media center.”
Bartlett said the new Grant water system would provide water for not only the school but also homes in the community.
5th District Rep. Bill Carrico said a new school was a lifeline of opportunity for students.
He urged the community to come together. “It’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s all about the children,” he added, referring to some community opposition to building the new facility and closing the older schools.
John Alexander, former principal at Bridle Creek Elementary, will move to the new school as its first principal.
He said the new school would have the nickname of the Eagles.
The word Eagles was broken down by Alexander — E stands for enthusiasm, A for achieving, G for goodness, L for lifelong learning, E for environment and S for successful.
Alexander said the new school would have students in Pre-K to 12th grade. He pointed out that students in the 8th through 12th grades would actually be on the roll at Grayson County High School.
A ribbon cutting was held as part of the program and refreshments were served. Music for the event was provided by Ellie Kirby and the Southfork Ramblers.