Grissom High School Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate New School Building
Student, parents, staff, and dignitaries celebrated the opening of the district’s newest school by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to show off the new $75 million Grissom High School campus. A crowd of around 1,000 were on hand in the new gymnasium to kick-off the event.
Mayor Tommy Battle, who was on-site for the festivities, spoke about how important facilities like this are. According to him, “our whole city has invested in education [because] success as a city is measured by education – it’s how you bring in jobs.” The opening of the new building marks a momentous occasion for Huntsville City Schools, as the district’s oldest high school opened its doors in 2005. The previous Grissom High School opened in 1969, and the over four decades since have seen a lot of changes in building philosophies and technology. According to Elisa Ferrell, the District 3 representative for the district, the opening of the new Grissom High means that “all of our high schools now have great facilities that promote learning, but also provide a safe environment for our students.”
Moving from one high school to another is no small feat, but principal Rebecca Ballentine says that “many hands make light work, and I am very, very fortunate that here at Grissom we have an amazing team.” She also adds that a lot of district personnel worked hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly, and even went above and beyond to ensure they could be in the new building in time for summer planning.
The school is state of the art and includes approximately 350,000 square feet of space that can accommodate up to 1900 students. Jeff Gattis, the district’s Construction and Renovation Coordinator, explains that the building is also designed to grow as the population grows. He says, “each classroom wing is expandable” so that it can fit even more students. He continues, adding that the campus “has something for every student interest you can imagine.” Some of the highlights of the building include areas for welding and machining, advanced manufacturing, robotics, state-of-the-art labs, and new athletic fields, to name a few. The 64-acre lot also allows for more student parking, which was a growing concern at the old facility.
According to Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin, “this is a big step towards becoming the model school system for the country, and is another great example of Huntsville City Schools building innovative facilities to match the great learning that is going on in our classrooms.”
The school will welcome students back for the Fall semester beginning on August 2, 2017.