Few occasions are more momentous for a county than the opening of a new high school.
There certainly is no occasion bigger for Grovetown than the dedication last week of Grovetown High.
With speeches, cheers and a ribbon-cutting, officials from the Columbia County school system on Tuesday opened the county's fifth public high school.
It's been a long time coming.
From the standpoint of dry numbers, the school was needed to alleviate overcrowding at the other four high schools. But it's also a tremendous shot of community pride for the county's fastest-growing city.
New high schools here are rarities. It's been 14 years since the most recent one - Greenbrier - opened its doors.
But it's been more than 50 years since Grovetown had its own high school, after the closings of the Central and Grovetown schools in the 1940s and '50s.
Students from those schools migrated to the larger Harlem High School. The flow is now reversed, with the largest number of Grovetown High's students shifting from Harlem High.
In fact, it's a serious flaw of the rezoning process that Harlem High has been so significantly depopulated. Its zone is the slowest-growth area of the county, yet the school population has been drained to nearly half its former size.
That number shrank even further from students taking advantage of the school choice option available because Harlem failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress goals. Under that option, they can transfer to Grovetown High.
Regardless of how its students get there, though, the community of Grovetown itself truly has arrived with the creation of a top-notch, state-of-the-art school poised to make its mark.
It's a proud moment for all of us. Congratulations, Grovetown High School.
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