New McNair Junior High ready for new school year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Civic and community leaders joined Huntsville City School officials, parents, students and faculty for Tuesday morning's ribbon-cutting at McNair Junior High.

Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski welcomed everyone to the system's newest school, saying, "it's been a long time coming and yet, it will stand for many, many years in the future."

"Through its doors, will pass future leaders in medicine, aerospace, politics, the military and untold fields we can't even imagine today," he predicted.

The new McNair Junior High is located on Pulaski Pike and will share a campus with Jemison High.

The more than $60M construction project took nearly 2 and a half years to complete.

The school is named for astronaut Ronald McNair.  In addition to being just the second African-American in space, McNair was also an accomplished musician who held a PhD in physics.

He was one of the seven astronauts killed in the 1986 Challenger explosion.

Jemison High is also being named for an astronaut.

Dr. Mae Jemison was born in Decatur. In 1992, she became the first African-American woman in space.

A ribbon-cutting at Jemison High is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2.

Huntsville City students return to class Wednesday, August 3.