LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A Limestone County community is celebrating a renovated school that officials say will be enjoyed for decades to come.
A crowd gathered as the ribbon was cut on the "new" Clements High School Sunday, March 15th.
"Today is one of the greatest celebrations in the life of Clements," said principal Keith Hairrell. "We're celebrating our new look."
It's a new look and an improved school building, he assures us. "Everything from the exterior landscaping to modernized science labs and computer rooms, it's a dream," he said.
"Everything you see is new. It was, as construction workers say, a complete gut job. All the way down to the walls," he said.
Superintendent Tom Sisk chimed in, "We've just breathed in another 50 years of life into this facility."
Sisk said this school is one of the first things people see on the drive into Limestone County from Lauderdale County, and now it's more than something to be proud of.
"We are really pleased to make the investments," he said.
$7 million worth of those investments went into the school, but Sisk said it's worth the price and even better, under budget.
"We didn't use any taxpayer money for it," he explained, citing cuts and other resources the school system used to raise the funds. Sisk said it's also a step toward a greener Limestone County Schools. "This was the first campus where we really rolled out the energy-efficient lighting and water," he said. The plan is for other schools to follow suit, and save the county money on energy costs.
Students we spoke with said this is a great morale-booster. Sisk understands why they needed it; their community was hit by a tornado around a year ago, and many of the students' homes were affected.
"This was an opportunity to create a safe space for kids that is warm and inviting," he explained.
Hairrell said it's a building that the students can be proud of, and the staff can be excited to work in.
"Our motto this year has been 'Taking Care of Business,'" he said, "And our students have taken this and moved forward because they're proud [of the school.]"
We asked him what he thought the biggest thing people need to know about the new Clements High School is. His response: "When you step into these doors you can become what you want to be. We are here to give you everything we can to help you along the way."