When classes begin on Aug. 10, a new era starts in Columbia County -- an era of five public high schools.
Before Grovetown High School opens, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Aug. 4 at 4 p.m., followed by an open house at 6 p.m.
Grovetown High Principal Penny Jackson said her school is ready.
"We're cleaning up as we speak," Jackson said.
The 86-classroom campus is spread across more than 70 acres on Chamblin Road.
Though the $39.8 million facility will be the school system's fifth high school, it will be the first to offer vocational courses in broadcast video and cosmetology.
"That class is full and has been since January," Jackson said of cosmetology. "They love cosmetology."
Other vocational offerings at the school will include health occupations, automotive, welding, culinary arts, business and a U.S. Army ROTC course that already has enrolled about 170 students.
While still in the design phase, Jackson said, system officials placed a special emphasis on vocational labs.
"When they did the floor plan for the school, they really had vocational classes in mind, because they didn't want to have to come back in and add to the building," she said.
"A lot of students will not go on to college right out of school. They'll join the work force or do joint enrollment with Augusta (Technical College). When they leave here, they'll have some experience and possibly some hours to credit toward their field."
Thus far, about 1,100 students will be attending Grovetown High this school year, though new students continue to enroll, Jackson said.
Jackson has hired 74 teachers to instruct those students.
"To me, hiring was the most difficult part of this process because of the sensitivity of the issue of teachers leaving other schools," she said. "It was a long process that started back in January and really didn't finish up until May. Actually, I'm still hiring."
Other administrators at the school include assistant principals Susy Roper, Craig Baker and Sean Petro, and Athletic Director Todd Booker.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.