Stressing the importance of education for the future of the county, Carroll County administrators and officials thanked students and teachers April 2 as they officially dedicated the renovated Carroll County High School.
With renovations to the school finished after approximately 18 months, CCHS will host the county’s ninth-grade students for the first time this coming fall. Renovations include a new media center, glass entrance and administration area, as well as updated classrooms, cafeteria and other upgrades.
Carroll County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Strader Blankenship told an assembly of CCHS students and faculty members that the project began 15 years ago. Planning began with a group of teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders. The Phase III renovations of Carroll County Intermediate School and CCHS allow the school system to transition to a true middle school and a 9-12 high school, he said.
“This is an important day for us. You should know that the citizens of Carroll County made a tremendous investment in your education and the education of the future generations of Carroll County students,” Blankenship said. “This is an opportunity for you and me to say thank you to the citizens and to the leaders of Carroll County.”
Blankenship then asked a group of invited officials to stand as he called out current and past members of the Carroll County School Board and Board of Supervisors, Hillsville Town Council, the Industrial Development Authority, architects and contractors for the project, and the faculty and staff of the high school, among others.
“This is a very special day for Carroll County Public Schools and we want everyone to be a part of the celebration. I want to thank everyone for their efforts to make this project a reality. It takes a lot of people to make a project like this come to fruition,” Blankenship said. “It took a while, but we are finally here, so let’s get started with the dedication.”
Brian Spencer, Chairman of the Carroll County School Board, told the gathering how proud he was to be a representative of such an outstanding group of people.
“My gosh, you survived. You lived through the construction. And you excel in sports and academics. You are not just surviving, you are excelling, so I am so proud,” Spencer said. “Everybody behind me, everybody here is here for you, the teachers and the students of Carroll County. They have to have that in their hearts or they wouldn’t be here in this room. And so I want to say thank you, thank you for what you have done this past year and last year, through all this. You have done an amazing job.”
Spencer said the foundation of the county is in the education of its students. This thought has been understood for over a century, from farmland being donated to build the first St. Paul School in Cana, to over $3,000 being raised to build Woodlawn High School, he said.
“Carroll County citizens have always risen to the challenge to meet educational needs of our students. These investments have been made because of an understanding that our future lies in well-educated children,” Spencer said. “A former Governor once stated, ‘No other investment yields as great a return as the investment in our education. An educated work force is the foundation of every community and the future of every economy.’
“You all are the future of Carroll County,” Spencer added. “I want to thank both school boards and both boards of supervisors for seeing this to completion and their commitment to a strong future for our county.”