Ad­min­is­tra­tors, staff get­ting set­tled in as new NHS pre­pares for stu­dents

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

The fin­ish­ing touches are be­ing put on the new New­ton High School, as school ad­min­is­tra­tors and staff work to make sure ev­ery­thing is in place be­fore the start of the 2013-14 school year.

NHS as­sis­tant prin­ci­pals Tracey Cur­tis, John Ellenberg, and Chasha Col­bert were all on hand Mon­day an­swer­ing ques­tions from staff mem­bers and mak­ing fi­nal de­ci­sions on what should be placed in rooms and of­fices at the new school.

Cur­tis said the move from the old high school to the new one has been hec­tic, but ex­plained that stu­dents and staff are ex­cited .

“For so long, New­ton’s stu­dents and the New­ton com­mu­nity ... they have de­served more,” he said. “All the other schools have had their nice fa­cil­i­ties, and so we are at that point where we knew it was com­ing, but it’s fi­nally here.

“It’s a good feel­ing for our stu­dents, and as well as our fac­ulty and for the com­mu­nity, to see our stu­dents who were in that kind of rough build­ing, to get some­thing new,’’ Cur­tis said.

“But like we say, it’s not what goes on on the out­side, but what goes on on the in­side.”

The new two-story high school build­ing can hold up to 2,500 stu­dents and en­com­passes more than 380,000 square feet, ac­cord­ing to ar­chi­tec­tural de­signs from Cunningham, Fore­hand, Matthews & Moore Ar­chi­tects in At­lanta. It was con­structed by McKnight Con­struc­tion Co. in Au­gusta for $42.6 mil­lion.

The new New­ton High, lo­cated be­tween Jack Nelly and Crow­ell roads, sits on 117.7 acres and in­cludes a 500-plus-seat au­di­to­rium; an open com­mons area en­trance; a gym that can ac­com­mo­date 2,500 spec­ta­tors; a prac­tice gym; science labs; and band and cho­rus class­rooms that are con­nected with re­hearsal ar­eas.

It also has an ROTC wing that in­cludes of­fice space, class­rooms and a ri­fle range; en­gi­neer­ing labs with a cov­ered ex­te­rior work­room; and agri­cul­tural and art class­rooms.

In ad­di­tion, Col­bert said a lot of the class­rooms have desks that are de­signed to be pushed to­gether for co­hort stu­dent ac­tiv­i­ties.

Class­rooms have ViewPath tech­nol­ogy, an in­te­grated au­dio-video so­lu­tion that in­cludes class­room cam­eras and silent alarms, which was pi­loted at the old NHS last year to en­hance school se­cu­rity.

The cost of the new ViewPath sys­tem, ap­proved for pur­chase at a Board of Ed­u­ca­tion meet­ing in March, was $513,002.

Cur­tis said some teach­ers have al­ready be­gun set­ting up their class­rooms, but many oth­ers will do so next week.

New stu­dent regis­tra­tion for 2013-14 will be July 22-26, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the new lo­ca­tion, 1 Ram Way in Cov­ing­ton. Regis­tra­tion forms are at new­ton­coun­tyschools.org.

Stu­dent open house at the new high school will be from 6-8 p.m. July 31. Cur­tis said this would be a good time for stu­dents to tour the new build­ing and meet their teach­ers. Stu­dents re­turn to school Aug. 2.

An open house for the pub­lic to tour the new high school is sched­uled for 3 p.m. Aug. 25.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 770-787-2250.

Danielle Ever­son /The Cov­ing­ton News

This is the en­trance/com­mons area at the new New­ton High School.

Danielle Ever­son /The Cov­ing­ton News

Col­or­ful ban­ners line the walls of the new high school’s cafe­te­ria.

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