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Athens City Schools planning to build new high school

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT )- Athens City Schools leaders have been working vigorously to develop a plan for building a new high school. Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay says that district leaders did a lot more than have building plans drawn up.

"We did a lot of time and a lot of effort, you know, looking at learning environments of how students learn in this day in time," Holladay says. About three years of research and other efforts went into developing several aspects of the building plans. They were striving to create an education oasis for their students to excel in. "In that learning environment there are a lot of windows, a lot of natural sunlight, which is very important for students and learning," Holladay explains.

Safety was also a top priority for school leaders. "So the way we have the building with an interior courtyard, we still keep the building very secure where students can go outside but yet they are not outside the building or the premises," Holladay describes. They also plan to have an interior storm shelter, which will allow about 1,500 people to take cover in if there is severe weather.

If all goes as planned the school system will begin building soon. "We hope to be moving dirt within 60 days. The bid on the building itself will probably completed in maybe 90 days, so July 1 maybe we are ready to roll with building. Maybe June 1 we are ready to roll with moving dirt," Holladay says.

They hope to have the project complete by fall of 2018.