SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Herschel V. Jenkins High School is getting a much needed upgrade.This fall, students and staff will move into a brand new, 239,000 square foot building located directly behind the existing Jenkins High School.

The $66 million dollar facility will consist of a gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, shooting range, energy labs with solar panels, and a media center. This high school will also include facilities to support a full STEM curriculum as well as a special needs wing for Exceptional Children of the Coastal Georgia Comprehensive Academy.

The school, built in 1956, holds a lot of memories for students and staff, especially people like retired principal Don Stewart, who graduated from Jenkins. He says though the physical building is being replaced, it’s the people that make it hard to forget.

“To me it was a place we gathered, but it wasn’t school. School was what happened between teachers and students, and athletes and cheerleaders. Everything happened as an activity and from those activities, we made lots of memories. This building, though, is not a memory.”

Mr Stewart was a student at Jenkins in the early 50’s and later became principal in the 80’s. He was inducted into the schools ‘hall of fame’ for his dedication to students and staff. Stewart says he is excited for future students and faculty to have a brand new facility with new technology to teach, learn and create memories.

“This will be great for future students. Back in the day, the school didn’t even have air conditioning. To see it come this far, means a lot for everyone at Jenkins,” Stewart adds.

The demolition of the original building will begin in late May. Parking lots, athletic fields, and ancillary educational structures will be completed by the end of this Summer. The building is projected to be ready to welcome students in August 2021.