PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - Students and teachers in Pike Road are gearing up for a new school year in a new school.
The town has given a historic building a major overhaul to help support its growing school system. Dr. Chuck Ledbetter, the new superintendent, says the renovated school still has a historic feel after being totally revamped.
"It is our upper school, grades seven through ten. It's a beautiful facility. The Town of Pike Road has done a lot of work to renovate this building for us and we're so gracious for that. It's been recreated so that we kept the old historic feel while bringing it up 100 years into the modern day," he said.
It's ready for students to start back next week in the new setting.
"This was a school here until 1970 and then it was shut down and it's had different iterations where it was a church camp for a time and some other things and now it's back to being a school," Ledbetter said. "We are in the building now and beginning to work."
It's the third year for the Pike Road school system and Dr. Ledbetter is now at the helm. He was hired in May and stressed innovation, integrity and service as the focus of the new school year.
"Pike Road Schools is a gem that continues to grow. Our community is growing, the town is growing, the school system is growing. We're also growing by one grade a year. This year, we'll go through 10th grade. Last year, we went through ninth grade," Dr. Ledbetter said.
The superintendent asks that for right now, residents hold off on coming to tour the newly renovated school as students and teachers get settled in over the next few weeks. An open house will be held in October and it will mark the 100th anniversary of the school and the 20th anniversary of the Town of Pike Road.
"We want to welcome our community to come in and see, especially those who went to school here in the past and we're going to have that opportunity in October," Ledbetter said.
A date for the community-wide open house in October hasn't been set yet.
Staff members for Pike Road Schools started back Tuesday. Students return Aug. 10.
"We always want to be open and transparent," Dr. Ledbetter said. "We have two values that we're always going to hold on to. One is to have integrity in everything we do. Two is serve our community, our students and parents to make sure that we're doing what they need us to do to best serve our students and for them to be able to grow and become the young people they need to be."