A tremor of anticipation colors Rhonda Salisbury’s voice as she describes the new Boyd County High School.
Adjectives like “amazing,” “fantastic” and “wonderful” pepper her account.
Salisbury has good reason to be excited. As Boyd County High School principal, she will be moving into the new building along with students when it opens in January.
Salisbury painted a verbal picture of the new school for benefit of anyone who might want to attend the public dedication ceremony on Thursday. The event starts with a flag dedication at 5:30 p.m. and the dedication ceremony starts at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium.
“It will take your breath away,” she said. “When you come around to the main entrance, there’s a huge circle. You walk through the lobby and you’re in the media center, which is the heart of everything.”
Embossed on cornices ringing the library are the names of Boyd County communities, what Salisbury calls “a real celebration of our community.”
From there, visitors can go one direction and see state-of-the-art kitchen facilities for the culinary program, the 450-seat auditorium with theater-style marquee “that’s out of this world,” and the band and choir rooms, or turn the other way to the gymnasium, with its upper-level walking track that will be available for public use. The gym also has two new scoreboards and is flanked by training and weight rooms.
Classrooms for other arts and humanities programs are near the auditorium and band area.
Upstairs are two main classroom wings. The school is designed on an academy concept, so one wing will be mainly devoted to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the other to general academic courses. There also is a freshman academy. It will be located in a set of classrooms near the office complex, making it more secure for first-year students.
Keeping the entire school safe is a network of about 100 security cameras all linked to a monitoring station in the office complex.
The main entrance actually is on the side of the building facing the hills; on the opposite side facing Ky. 180 and the old high school is the commons area with its expanse of arched windows where students can gather during lunch and breaks.
Teachers worked with the architects to design the school and planned it around every academic program.
Faculty already have moved much of their gear into their new classrooms and students will be permitted to move their books and other effects to their new lockers before the holiday break.
That will give them a chance to familiarize themselves with the layout before classes begin there in January, Salisbury said.
Workers are putting finishing touches on the building and cleanup crews were expected to be working through the weekend to get the school in shape for the dedication ceremony, maintenance director Tim Black said.
The ceremony is open to the public; Kentucky Department of Education commissioner Terry Holliday will speak, as will local legislators. Tours of the building will follow.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.