Johnson High School Set For Renovation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A Huntsville igh school with declining enrollment is about to get a big renovation.  And eventually it will share the campus with a nearby middle school.

The school leaders at the Johnson High announcement were hot, but happy over what's planned for the school.You can see some of it on a new sign unveiled Tuesday.

That sign is located at the intersection of Cecil Fain and Winchester Road and depicts what Johnson High School will morph into over the next couple of years.

"It's really kind of a dark place," said Johnson High School Principal Michael Campbell of the current look of the school. "There's lots of room, but this is going to add a lot of light and a lot of visibility. And I'm here to say, the Johnson Jaguars are back."

"I'm just so excited I can't hardly stand it," said Laurie McCaulley, the president of the Huntsville School Board.

She graduated from Johnson High School in 1979.  She's excited about what she says is long-awaited attention it's getting inside and outside, to the tune of $15 to $20 million.

"It also gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the inequities that have existed in the past in our city in the schools to start addressing them," said McCaulley of the renovations.

And the superintendent has even bigger plans for the Johnson Jaguars, specifically bringing its feeder Davis Hills Middle School to the campus.

"We'd have two schools in one building to better use that facility," said Dr. Casey Wardynski. "And we're looking at actually doing that in some other schools."

He said the move falls in line with his bigger plan to keep schools within their communities and stay away from having to bus students from one area to another.

Wardynski says Davis Hills Middle School would eventually be torn down.

But the construction work won't begin for another six months or so, while plans are finalized and approved.

The combination of Johnson and Davis Hills would bring the school enrollment to 1,000 students, grades seven through 12.

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