Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TOP STORY >> Cabot celebrates junior high school’s rebirth after fire

Cabot School Superintendent Tony Thurman (left) takes Sen. Bobby Glover of Carlisle on a tour of the $13.5 million Cabot Junior High School North campus.

Cabot Junior High School North students and their families attended a dedication ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

Leader staff writer

The dedication of Cabot Junior High School North and open house Sunday was a day of celebration and reflection on how the school that burned in 2006 bounced back to being better than before.

Teachers, school board members, city officials, parents and students, along with members of the Cabot, Ward, and Austin fire departments, attended the dedication of the new $13.5 million junior high school.

In front of the 127,282-square foot, two-story school, cheerleaders released black, red and white balloons, the school’s colors, before a ribbon was cut symbolically marking the opening of the school.

Superintendent Tony Thurman said, “The entire facility has turned out even better than we had planned. I’m very proud of our construction, maintenance, custodial and technology staffs and the work that they have done to make this an outstanding facility for our staff and students.

“The fire at Junior High North was devastating for the district from many standpoints. We have worked through three difficult years and are now pleased that our faculty and staff can enjoy a facility that would have never been possible if not for the fire,” he said.

“I am so proud of the faculty and staff of Junior High North for remaining patient and positive during the most difficult times following the fire and waiting for the completion of the new facility.

“We have a facility for our Junior High North students and staff that our community can be very proud of for many years,” Thurman said.

Cabot Mayor Eddie Joe Williams said, “The opening is a good example of how this community pulls together in adversity. The school is a monument of the team effort. It is a good example why people are still moving to Cabot. I am glad to be a part of it.”

“I watched this come from nothing. The kids coming in today have it made. They’ve got everything they need,” resident Stephen Shoup said.

Approximately 1,180 students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades attend the school. There are 105 employees, about 65 of them licensed teachers.

It has 47 classrooms, five computer labs, nine science labs, a band suite and a choir suite. It has two art studios, three team rooms for teachers to meet, a counseling area, and a media center.

The cafeteria is the largest in the district. It was built to serve 600 students at a time.

After the ribbon-cutting, parents and residents toured the building guided by students, who have been attending classes there since the first day of school in August.

They spent three years in portable trailers. Students don’t have to worry about dodging raindrops between classes.

Parent Ashley McDonald said, “It is an outstanding facility for the students. The technology will allow them to access material for the 21st century.”

State Sen. Bobby Glover of Carlisle said, “It is awesome. It makes you think you’re on a college campus. They have every type of technology possible.”