Ceremony applauds BHS work

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2000

Although he won’t be around for the completion, Brookhaven HighSchool senior Fred Perkins says improvements there are badlyneeded.

“I won’t be part of the new building, but I’ll be glad to comeback and see it when it’s done,” Perkins said Wednesday followingground-breaking ceremonies for the high school’s $11 millionexpansion and renovation project.

As a member of the class of 2001, Perkins is part of the onlygroup that is being totally displaced by the main building workthat began this summer, said Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds. Work onthe project, which will see two new classroom wings added and themain building brought up to current building standards, is expectedto be completed during the 2001-02 school year, Bounds said.

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For now, Perkins and other students are utilizing mobileclassrooms behind the school on the baseball field. The studentsaid he doesn’t mind, but he is looking forward to cooler weatherbecause it’s been hot walking from class to class.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Bounds said the main building,constructed in 1937, was built like a fortress for the ages.However, improvements were now necessary due to an expandingstudent base and the need to upgrade the building for newtechnology.

Bounds and fellow school officials expressed appreciation to thecommunity for passage last year of a $7.5 million bond issue tofund the project and to the state for $3.5 million to assist withthe work. The state funds were made available to help prepare theschool to teach core curriculum courses for fine arts schoolstudents.

“We’ll have a building the whole state can be proud of,” Boundssaid.

Carl Aycock, chairman of the school district board of trustees,drew comparisons between a failed bond issue several years ago andthe one approved last year with an approximately 75 percentmajority. Aycock said factors in last year’s passage were that theplan was totally board-driven and that included efforts to keep andimprove the current high school building.

“This board is strongly for anything we determine is in thekids’ best interests,” Aycock said.

Aycock said the improved building would be a legacy to manyfuture classes of students. He also expressed hope that theeducation received in the classroom would have a positive impactfor many years to come.

Mayor Bill Godbold said people would be proud of their communityleaders and fellow citizens. He said the city was fortunate to havepeople willing to do what is necessary when it is necessary toimprove schools and other facilities.