Helena celebrates landmark day

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
An enthusiastic and large crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting at the new Helena High School.
Principal Jay Peoples’ opening remarks welcomed all and mentioned Lathan Associates Architects, Rick Lathan and Lee Bryant and contractor, Doster Construction Co., saying, “They have done a phenomenal job.”

Helena and Shelby County School System leaders cut the ribbon on the new Helena High School on Aug. 3. (Contributed)

Helena and Shelby County School System leaders cut the ribbon on the new Helena High School on Aug. 3. (Contributed)

He thanked Superintendent Randy Fuller “whose leadership made this possible, from the bond origination to his vision of realizing the need for this school.”
Mayor Mark Hall pointed out that the 2011 bond issue provided for all the athletic facilities with over $8 million of tax money put back into the school.
“The payback is priceless,” he noted, also thanking the previous administration under Mayor Sonny Penhale for beginning this vision in 2010.
From the students touring during the open house came these comments:
“I’m really excited to be attending HHS. I am happy to be with my childhood friends—we are kind of back where we all started and now we get to finish this together,” said Kaitlyn Creel, a senior who also noted, “I am super glad that we do not have portables. The school is big and spacious and there won’t be any worries of the weather.”
HHS features two reinforced storm shelter rooms on the ground floor. These rooms will be able to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour.
“I think HHS is beautiful and has so much to offer. For those who want to go into the medical field, for example, there are specific classes. I like the references to the original mining site via the ceiling lights in the lobby,” said Ashley Lewis.
“I’m excited that we get to make new traditions that will be carried on to other generations,” said Sydney Kahl.
“I’m excited about being part of the first ever Helena High School Band and Drumline. I can’t wait for the first football game,” said Chandler Hare.
“I’m so excited to be able to enjoy such a beautiful school and be a part of something so special for Helena. Go Huskies!” said incoming 10th grader Kylie Pritchard.