SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — One local high school is getting an upgrade. Construction of the new Herschel V. Jenkins High School site, funded by ESPLOST, is underway.
Staff and alumni celebrated the history of the school with their Brick-by-Brick Ceremony Friday. More than 1,000 commemorative bricks reserved from the demolition of the original building were distributed to students, graduates and supporters of the school.
During the ceremony, Jenkins High School Principal Heather Handy unveiled plans for the new building, set to open in August 2021.
“One thing that I have noticed from being the principal here is the amazing alumni. The alumni support, the community spirit,” Handy told WSAV NOW. “I think it was important for them to have a part of history and be able to reflect on the stories and the amazing things they did as students themselves.”
SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett says the brick giveaway is an important part of commemorating the original high school built in 1957 and welcoming in a new era for Jenkins.
“It’s something about the memories that will be encapsulated in that brick, that whenever people see it, they’ll think fondly about their times at HVJ,” Levett said. “Sharing the bricks today allows us to recognize and celebrate the history of all of those who had great times at this high school.”
The new facility is 242,000 square feet and will house 1,275 students.
It includes a parent center and counseling suite. The cafeteria can seat 425 people. The new building will also have 37 classrooms, 10 science labs, three computer classrooms, four special needs classrooms and a media center with a video production lab.
“As we see the district continue to grow, we want to be able to have the elementary school and high school with very little separation between the two,” Deputy Superintendent of Operations Vanessa Kaigler said.
“We’re looking forward to the kids and the staff being back in the building with 100% in-person learning,” she added.
The new building will have a separate wing for Coastal Georgia Comprehensive Academy with administration, eight classrooms and an open living suite.
Traditionally a STEM-focused school, students can look forward to using six different business labs, two engineering labs, an energy lab and a family and consumer science lab.
It will also be complete with an ROTC suite and shooting range.
The athletics complex will also be state-of-the-art. Football and track and field seating will host 500 and the new gymnasium bleachers can fit 1,500. Students will also be able to utilize a new weight room and two tennis courts.