With cheerleaders lined up greeting visitors, the public got their first look at Great Crossing High School at an open house and ribbon cutting Thursday night.
After the band played the school song, students cut the ribbon and then led families of students and the curious through the new school’s hallways.
The common refrain overheard by many was, “I want to come back to high school.”
Many stopped to check out the new gym as the band entertained them with a variety of songs, and later, the GCHS Chorus lined the Great Hallway to serenade people as they walked the hallways.
“The main entry is very impressive,” said Mike Mitchum, the dad of 10th-grader Noah who is in the band.
“It is very modern,” added his wife, Trahnel. “I worked at the old high school and it is very different, especially the kitchen and cafeteria. The hallways are very wide and I like the recessed classrooms,” referring to the classrooms off the common areas.
Several people have no children attending the high school, but wanted to see what Great Crossing looked like.
“I called her and said let’s go look at the new high school,” Sandy Hiles said. So she and her friend Angie Fain were walking the halls checking out the classrooms.
Fain went to grade school at Great Crossing.
“I really liked that they named the school Great Crossing, and I love the colors,” Fain said.
They weren’t the only people who went to the former Great Crossing School and wanted to check out the school bearing their old school’s name.
Tom Richardson, Josie Moore, Carolyn Cox and Jimmy Richardson all went to Great Crossing.
“The library I had would fit in the kitchenette over there,” Jimmy Richardson said as the quartet gazed around the media center.
Moore and Cox said they lived nearby and could watch the school be built from the ground up.
“Every day we would watch and try to figure out what each room was. The lights would be on and we could figure out, well that is the library,” Moore said.
They were pleased the district decided to name the school Great Crossing, but were really glad they didn’t keep the old Great Crossing mascot — apes.
“I was thinking, please don’t call them apes,” Moore said. “I ended up having to go to Stamping Ground, which was one of our rivals, and that’s what they called me. Ape.”
The Richardsons said the Warhawk mascot was impressive.
Past and present staff at Scott County High were also spotted checking out their friendly rival and seeing old colleagues.
Jean Scaravilli and Allison McDowell were among them.
“We wanted to see our friends and see what the school looked like,” McDowell said. “It certainly smells new.”
Scaravilli was at SCHS when it opened in 1996.
“I remember how exciting it was for us. But it was already crowded in 1996,” she said. “The technology here is spectacular.”
McDowell credited the plans for taking space into account.
“They really did it up right, and what I mean is that they made sure they had space and room to build a school that had space,” she said. “it is great for the students and the teachers and it was needed.”
Principal Joy Lusby is very proud of her students every day, she said, but particularly Thursday, saying she wanted it to be about the kids.
“The kids cut the ribbon and the tours are led by some of our Warhawk Ambassadors or baseball players,” she said. “To hear the adults say what a great job the kids did is one of the greatest compliments we could get.
“I still get goosebumps. I’m so proud of these students. I was telling one parent about their son who is really stepping up as a leader. That’s what you want to see.”
Steve McClain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.