"The facility you and I begin today will be filled with technology that many of us only dreamed about as we sat in those classrooms that smelled of then-new paint and sawdust," said Bartow County Board of Education member Anna Sullivan, who represents Adairsville. "More importantly, the facility we begin today will be filled with the dreams and hopes of new generations of learners."
The school will group students together according to grade level at various wings in the school.
Superintendent John Harper has said grouping together students of the same grade level will have many benefits, such as helping to reduce the overall flow of student traffic around the building. He explained the grade-specific wings will end at a hallway that leads to areas where students of varying grade levels congregate, such as the lunchroom or gym.
"This plan is very unique to Adairsville," said board member and former Cartersville Middle School guidance counselor Wanda Cagle Gray during a board work session. "It is so important for students in sixth to eighth grade to be with their peers."
Sullivan said the new facility will promise greater educational opportunities for students in the area.
"Today, a simple shovelful of red clay marks the beginning of a brighter future for our children, for our families, for our community. It is, indeed, a joy to celebrate," Sullivan said.
The school is expected to open in April 2013.
Bartow County voters in July 2010 approved the district to issue $70 million in general obligation debt to help acquire land for and construct its future facilities, make technology improvements, refurbish existing facilities and purchase school buses. The authorization was a part of the approved continuation of the local education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which will see the 1-cent tax continue to be levied for five more years starting in July, with its proceeds going to the county school system and Cartersville City Schools.
For more details on the new AMS, see Sunday's The Daily Tribune News.