In November of 2006 I posted a story about a high school just outside Greensboro, NC, that had been completely burned down (arson... never caught who did it).
Several posters on here were generous enough to send donations to the wrestling team so the kids could replace their headgear, singlets, shoes, etc and continue on with the season. (thanks!!)
Anyway, it's been announced that the official date to move into the new building is April 20, 2009. For the remainder of the year after the fire, the student body was split up into locations around the eastern part of Guilford County. Beginning with the 07-08 year, the school is housed in this "pod village" made up of 10 mobile pod units, each with 8-10 classrooms in it.
I just thought some of you that might have remembered the story would like to see the update. It's been a long two years for the students and staff at Eastern Guilford but we will be moving into our new home soon!
Eastern High School to open in spring Thursday, November 13
GIBSONVILLE ? Cassandra Hlong nearly came to tears Wednesday morning as school officials talked about opening the new Eastern Guilford High School.
Hlong, now a senior and the student body president, was a sophomore when a fire destroyed the former school building in November 2006.
Students were split up and sent to separate sites to attend classes after the fire. They returned to the school property this year, taking classes in a village of mobile units. The students will make one last move into a new Eastern in the spring.
?We?re all really excited,? Hlong said. The Eastern family is reunited and this move will complete their journey, she said.
To mark the second anniversary of the fire, the school unveiled its new seal and took the public on a tour of the new school. The blue and gold seal features symbols representing Eastern?s dedication to science, the arts and athletics, as well as the pursuit of knowledge.
The seal also features the years 1974, when the school first opened, and 2009, when it will reopen.
The first day of class in the new school will be April 20, the day students return from spring break. School officials said construction is on schedule and should be completed by late February.
While considering these plans, Superintendent Maurice ?Mo? Green said he questioned disrupting teachers and students by moving them into the new building with less than two months left in school.
Green said he floated the idea of opening the new high school at the beginning of the next academic year. Then, he heard from the school community.
?This family, this community, has experienced a devastating event and want to get back to normal as soon as possible,? Green said. ?I did not get in the way of that decision.?
There are already big plans under way for the school. The prom will be held in May in the school?s central atrium, which is lit by a massive skylight.
Sunlight will enter every classroom through skylights and reflective piping. Each room will have a projector operated by a computer linked to the schoolwide network. Other amenities include two gyms, an open-air cafeteria, a 761-seat auditorium and a cybercaf?.
The school is designed to high-sustainability standards of energy efficiency and environmental impact.
Eastern principal Travis Reeves likened the school?s design to a familiar teenage hangout.
?I think the architect initially made it look like a mall because that?s where kids are comfortable,? he said.
The school also will remember its former incarnation on opening day in the new school building. The flag that was outside the school on the night of the fire will be raised and then retired that day, Reeves said.
The fire that destroyed the former school started in a second-floor chemistry classroom. An arson investigation into the fire has not been closed and no arrests have been made.
The new school?s cost is budgeted for $61 million. This year, $45 million was approved in a bond referendum.
The building is 270,000 square feet with a classroom capacity of 1,200 students. The design is almost identical to Northern High, which opened in January.