November 30-- It was a windy groundbreaking for the new Vidalia High School Tuesday morning. School leaders and other members of the community fought the gusts and sunk shovels into the site of the new building on Highway 292 immediately adjacent to the current high school.
McLendon Enterprise worked all summer demolishing the old Oxford plant and clearing it from the site. Now Tony Wright from T.Q. Constructors says his company is moving to start construction, "It's coming together really good and we look forward to it becoming a real milestone in this community for years to come."
Vidalia School Superintendent Dr. Garrett Wilcox thanked members of the community who approved a one cent sales tax to help pay for the construction. He said about a third of the $27 million price tag is coming from state funding with the remaining two-thirds being financed by the sales tax.
Two Vidalia High School graduates have helped shape the project.
School Board Chairman Doug Roper, Jr. observed, "A healthy school system is an extension of a healthy community. It's awesome to see today the different local governments who have come together and I thank you for being here and we look for many, many positive years going forward."
School principal John Sharpe said, "Vidalia has such high expectations. This is going to be a facilty our whole community can be proud of, a facility that will encourage folks and businesses to relocate to this area and a facility that will be here for years to come. It's something that you do maybe twice in a century and we appreciate the vision that Dr. Wilcox and our board had and the input our teachers had in planning and projecting for the future."
School officials expect to start classes in the new Vidalia High School building in the Fall of 2018.