MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Amidst the sights and sounds of an active construction site Montgomery school and city leaders take a step toward a new beginning for the public school system.
"It's really nice to see the things we've talked about coming to realization," says Superintendent Barbara Thompson.
Park crossing won't be anything like other area high schools.
"I think it's a more open concept campus style," says Thompson.
The school boasts open air courtyards.
"When you come in the front door you can basically look in the front door through the art room, through the courtyards, to the cafeteria. So it's going to be a beautiful view," adds Thompson.
Large windows and two story open assembly areas--like amphitheaters--are built for multi-student learning.
State law requires the school to have storm shelters. Park Crossing has three. One of them is two stories tall.
"It provides emergency lighting, emergency air, it has toilet facilities," says Carla Percival-Young, an architect for Goodwin, Mills and Cawood.
There are windows in the storm shelters. When there's no threat of severe weather, the room functions just like a normal classroom. If a tornado were to come through, the windows would immediately be covered with shudders. That way the children don't see what's going on outside the building.
"It frightens them. It's easier for them to maintain a normal environment if they're not watching the destruction that could be going on around them," adds Percival-Young.
The school is roughly 165,000 square feet with two academic wings--one on each side.
It will house 1000 students.
Administrators say it is on schedule to be complete by the end of June.
It is the first new high school to be built since the 1960s despite Carver High School's recent rebuild.
The expected cost to build Park Crossing is around $27-million dollars.