A brilliant rainbow shone in the sky just minutes before the Louisa County community gathered on Wednesday, Aug. 21 to celebrate a milestone for students, teachers, parents and the community—a ground breaking celebration for a new high school.
Only two days shy of the second anniversary of the 5.8-magnitude “Mineral Earthquake,” that destroyed both the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary, school officials and guests took turns plunging golden shovels into the soil where the new structure will be built.
In front of a backdrop of heavy construction equipment, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit, LCHS Class of 1968, introduced and thanked everyone who was integral in the process of helping to get the school division to that particular moment. The list was long.
The superintendent also expressed her appreciation to the parents and students, who endured altered schedules, long school days, attended practices at other locations and made other sacrifices during the process.
“That old building and our memories will not be forgotten,” Pettit said. “Dear old LCHS and our memories will live on in our hearts and we’ll have a visual reminder as well.”
In remembrance, a wall built of brick from the old school will be added inside the new school and benches will be crafted from the slate stairways from the historic 1940s structure.
Several speakers at the event were former students of the high school and expressed their pride in that fact.
Senator Tom Garrett, 22nd district representative and graduate of the Class of 1990, was one of them.
“We are Louisa and great things are what we do,” he said. “August 23, 2011, every person here could probably tell you exactly what they were doing when the ground shook. I know I can.”
In his speech, Garrett focused on the “great things” that have come out of Louisa over the course of its long history. He spoke of the accomplishments of Louisa residents, past and present—Patrick Henry, Jack Jouett, John Mercer Langston, Del. V. Earl Dickinson and Pettit.
To read the entire story, see the Aug. 29 edition of The Central Virginian.