DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — After a decade of debate, Davie County is getting a new high school and today marked the official groundbreaking of its new site.
“It’s a very emotional day in Davie County for people that have worked very hard for it,” said Deana Roberts, mother of a Davie County 5th grader and high school freshman.
The current Davie County High School was built in 1956 to house 725 students. There was no cafeteria, no gymnasium and no auditorium. Over the years, a cafeteria was added, as was a gymnasium, but the number of students kept growing; and today, there are about 1,800 students.
The current high school’s structure and layout has caused some concerns. Parents say it’s unsafe, there are too many ways in and out and in the case of an emergency it would be extremely difficult to lock down. Many students complain of overcrowding and outdated technology.
A $54.5 million dollar bond referendum was approved by voters, and construction has begun.
“This will signal the end to a debate among adults in Davie County that has lasted over a decade,” said Darrin Hartness, superintendent of the Davie County School System.
The new school will be complete with all the amenities; including an auditorium which will seat 750 people and a gym to fit 2,000.
“There’ll be more classrooms and they’ll have more space. They’ll be a lot safer,” said Elisha Hrica, who has a daughter in the 6th grade.
“We had tremendous community input. We heard from hundreds of citizens and staff, students, parents,” said Hartness.
Many people didn’t want to spend the millions of dollars to construct the new school.
“They just thought it would be too costly, and that it wasn’t fair for everyone because not everyone had students,” said Hrica. “I was really looking at not the cost of it, but mostly what is it going to do for the community and the children.”
One thing voters did not want was a rivalry between two schools.
“When people talk about where they live in Davie County, they don’t live in Advance, they don’t live in Mocksville, they live in Davie County,” said Roberts.
That unity will remain intact, because when the students enter the new school in the fall of 2017, they will all do so together.
“My daughter’s going to be to first freshman class there, so she’s excited and she’s glad for the opportunity to have a new school,” said Hrica.