GAINESVILLE, Tex, -- This school year may almost be over, but people in Gainesville are already looking forward to next year, because it brings a brand new high school.
Since the 1950’s, students have passed through the halls at Gainesville High School. But that's all about the change as workers are putting the finishing touches on a new high school.
The 175,000-square foot facility will open in time for the 2008-09 school year. Superintendent Bill Gravitt says it was time for a new building, but not because there's anything wrong with the current one. The need actually started at the junior high.
"It was an old facility, we probably should've moved out several years ago. There's a safety issue and some questions about that building."
School officials didn't want to build just any school. They wanted a state of the art facility, and that's what they got.
The $24.5 million education center is being paid for by a state bond and will include TV and radio studios, two gyms, and even a Java City Coffee Shop.
While students say they're upset about the new dress code that comes along with the new year, they're happy to test out the new building.
"I think we'll be good going to the new school just because this school has been here and a long time, and we really do need a new facility." Gainesville High School junior James Ferrell says.
Teachers are also looking forward to the change. For math teacher Nancy Etheredge, this is the first time in her long career that she will get to work in a brand new school.
"The facility that it's turned out to be is just amazing. The amount of money that's spent, the care, and the thought."
But on top of all the excitement and interesting features, there will be new opportunities for students, like getting to graduate with more than a high school diploma.
"We’re going to be shuttling our youngsters back and forth to the junior college to take advanced credit courses. I look for within 2 to 3 years for our youngsters to graduate from high school not only having a diploma, but having an Associate’s Degree to go along with it," says Gravitt.
Everyone we talked to says they're excited about starting their lives in the new school. Gravitt says he hopes this facility will serve the community for decades to come.