It was touch and go for a while, but Miami High School Principal Rich Fretwell is happy to annouce that this year’s graduating class will be the first to graduate from the gymnasium in the new addition.
“This is the conclusion of my first year as principal of the high school and to be able to see the senior class graduate out of the new building, well … it just feels right,” he said. “They are a great bunch of seniors. I hate to see them go although I’m glad they’ve accomplished so much and going on to bigger and better things.”
The final inspection is today and Fretwell will be handed the keys.
The first actual activity to be held in the new facility was the National Honor Society’s ceremony held Wednesday evening.
Fretwell said he expects the band and chorus classes to be held in the new facility Monday.
And no, neither the students nor their parents will not be transporting their classroom equipment into the new building.
“Mr. Stephens (School Superintendent Bill Stephens) has a philosophy that new buildings deserve new equipment,” Fretwell said. “We’ve got more than 300 chairs and the risers, but are still waiting on the desks.”
For Fretwell, the most stressful part of building the news facility came in November and December.
“I’ll admit I was afraid we might not have it done on schedule,” he said. “We had so much rain then and didn’t have a roof. They said we had to have one by then. It was scarey.”
Fretwell enjoy his weekly visits to the building after spring break.
“It was fun,” he said. “You could see all the changes — the paint here, the floor there, the tiling — it was awesome.
Because the new facility isn’t actually built on to the old building, construction and its noises didn’t inhibit classes.
“The biggest problem we had was that it took up some of our parking,” Fretwell said.
Plans have already started to host an open house in the new facility after the beginning of the school year.
“We hope everyone will come out and see the new facility we’re so proud of,” Fretwell said. “It’s really special right now, it smells so new.”