Butler High Students officially say goodbye to their school, welcome new opportunities

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Butler High School freshman, sophomores, and juniors participated in a bridging ceremony on Monday to mark the students’ move to Columbia, Grissom, Huntsville, Johnson, and Lee High Schools. Principals, students and staff members from each of the high schools greeted the Butler students with open arms as they crossed a bridge on the high school auditorium's stage.

Butler High School will close in May, at the end of the 2014-2015 school year as a part of the Consent Order between Huntsville City Schools and the Department of Justice.  Butler’s final graduating class ceremony will be Friday, May 22nd at 3:30 pm at the Von Braun Center. These two ceremonies will mark the official closing of the school.

"Right now, it feels really unreal," Senior Fanny Santoyo said. "Like, I kind of wish this wasn't happening just because we're accustomed to Butler and this was like our first home."

While the students said they are ready to take on the challenge of a new school, it is hard to leave the familiarity among friends.

"It's going to be weird because I'll be a senior and  all of my friends will be split up and I'll have to meet new people," Senior Timera Fletcher said.

The original school, built on the site at Governors Drive and Triana Boulevard, was part of the Madison County School System, and was named West Huntsville High School. In 1951, all of the suburban schools were consolidated at that site, and the Madison County Board of Education renamed the school Butler High. In the mid-1950s, the population of Huntsville was rapidly expanding due to the Army’s Missile Program. The town limits were expanded and in June of 1956, Butler High was one of a few schools that were sold to the city. During the 1960’s, with the growth of the space program, Butler High was well over capacity, so a new facility was constructed at the current Holmes Avenue site in 1967. The school was built to hold up to 2,500 students, but by the 1970s, Butler had ballooned to 3,000 students, which required the district to place 10 portable classrooms at the site.

For available memorabilia, Butler alumni may contact Lontrell Harris at Louis.harris@hsv-k12.org for additional information.