Wise school officials stand on the sky bridge inside the new Union High in Big Stone Gap. Stephen Igo.
BIG STONE GAP — Light. Airy. Architecturally awesome. And brand-21st-century-spanking new.
Wise County officials got an early look at the county school division’s two new high schools on Thursday. The new Union and Central high schools are scheduled to greet students and staffs in January, and a wow welcome to their new home it promises to be.
“I think the end of construction is near,” beamed Wise County School Board member Larry Greear, “and the beginning of the excitement for the kids is getting closer. And it was all worth it.”
The new Union High School has been under construction behind the former Powell Valley High School in Big Stone Gap for nearly 18 months, and the new Central High School under construction on a lofty plateau above U.S. Route 23 not far from downtown Wise.
Members of the school board and county board of supervisors tagged along with Schools Superintendent Jeff Perry on Thursday for a preview of what students, teachers and the communities will be able to marvel over come January.
“I could talk all day about what these facilities mean to our students, our teachers and our communities. It’s just an amazing opportunity to finally get to the point where they can be in great facilities,” said School Board Chairman Nolan Kilgore during Thursday’s tour.
“I think these schools will be great support for our communities. For the first time our modern facilities will match our curriculum, and give our students and communities something they can be proud of.”
Read more in the Friday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.