Athens High School students will begin school year in former middle school building due to construction delays

ATHENS, Ala.- Athens City Schools announces the opening of the new Athens High School is delayed until November 19.

Students in grades 9-12 will begin the school year August 30th, at the former Athens Middle School campus on Clinton Street. School officials say changes were made to the building to create adequate classroom space, allowing the school to run a full schedule.

"Put in walls, made sure that we had electrical outlets wiring that's in there, some type of projector, drops for computers and technology, and so we turned nontraditional instructional spaces into instructional spaces," Principal Travis Schrimscher said.

Superintendent Dr. Trey Holladay the delay occurred because of the unusually wet year, preventing the completion of the courtyard area.

Holladay said, “The goal was to complete the classroom areas of the building by the end of August so that students could begin the year in the new school; however, all the pieces just did not come together as hoped.”

This problem created a domino effect, preventing contractors from closing openings in other areas of the building to offer air conditioning. Without air conditioning, finish work such as flooring, casework, and trim could not be completed in certain areas of the building.

Students and parents can click here to see a list of responses to common concerns and questions specific to the temporary location on Clinton Street.

Superintendent Trey Holladay said parents and students will be given an opportunity for a walkthrough of the new campus before it opens.

He added not all parts of the facility is complete.   Only 90% of classrooms are finished. The auditorium, media center and interior courtyard remain incomplete.

The school official mentioned changing the school start date wasn't an option to accommodate construction.

Holladay says parking will be an issue. Students will be able to park at the old middle school on Clinton and what is now the current middle school (the old high school facility). Students who park at the current middle school will be shuttled to class.

Students will start class in the new school on November 19th, two days before Thanksgiving.

"I wanted the conversation around the table to be im in a new school, not im in an old school," Holladay chuckled.

Parents say it's a move they will be celebrating.

"It's getting closer and closer, and wow is it going to be fabulous when they get it done. It's going to be worth the wait," Rhonda Pyburn said.