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Posted: July 16, 2013 8:28 p.m.

Administrators, staff get settled at NHS

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.

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