On Sunday afternoon the parking lot at the new Louisa County High School was filled with something not seen there in four long years—cars.
The community came out in full force to get its first peek inside the new $56.6 million building and participate in a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.
“You could see the pride in the faces of all who were there, from community members, students and faculty,” Heidi Schlosser-Filter commented.
Whoever couldn’t fit inside the 800-seat Alan Jackson Theatre was able to watch the ceremony in the cafeteria and main gym, which were used as overflow rooms for the anticipated large crowd.
Even finding a parking spot was a real challenge for many, and several school buses were put into use to transport guests to and from the school before and after the 90-minute ceremony.
“It’s bizarre to be at Louisa County High School and not know my way around the building,” Senator Thomas Garret , a graduate of the high school and 22nd Senate District representative, said during his remarks.
Beforehand, hundreds of invited guests enjoyed refreshments prepared by the Louisa County High School cafeteria staff and served in the auxiliary gymnasium.
The drum line, band and varsity cheerleaders kicked off the ceremony in grand style, bursting through the auditorium doors and running down both aisles as the crowd clapped along to the beat with a spirit worthy of a home football game.
“Awesome,” “beautiful,” “spectacular,” “amazing,” “fantastic” and “gorgeous” were some of the adjectives used to describe the new school by those who attended the special event.
In her remarks, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit asked those in the audience how many wanted to return to school as students in the new building, but despite the allure of the new facility, most declined her tongue-in-cheek invitation.
Pettit recognized a long list of people who have played some part in the rebuilding of the school or helped get students back into a classroom within 19 days after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011.
The quake damaged all six of the county’s schools, but rendered the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary unusable. In addition to the schools, 1,600 other structures in the county were impacted, causing more than $18 million in additional damage.
Full story can be read in The Central Virginian’s August 13 edition on newsstands now.