HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT)- It's the first day ever for Huntsville City's McNair Junior High. It has a new name and mascot, new hallways, and colors, but a familiar building.
"The building has been totally transformed, where it's nothing but McNair, it's beautiful," said Michael Morris, principal of the new school. McNair is temporarily housed at the former Davis Hills Middle School until it's new facility is ready in 2016 -- in the meantime, class is in session.
"We are 'Team McNair,' and that's the big thing we are trying to push," said Principal Morris, "we're a team that the kids see with a common mission and vision." McNair Junior High combines the populations of the old Ed White and Davis Hills Middle schools, and the district wanted to make sure that the students had the opportunity to help create their school.
"The students actually voted in the spring as to what colors they wanted, as well as they got to vote on the mascot, the wildcats, so the students had the opportunity to have ownership into the building before they even walked through the door," said Morris. The new school's colors are royal blue, black, and white. Named after the second African American to fly in space, 'Team McNair' hopes the astronaut's humble beginnings will inspire students.
"Wherever you start, you can excel to the stars," said Morris. McNair will have only seventh and eighth grade students. Sixth graders will be taught at their respective elementary schools.