Wilson County Schools Director Mike Davis presided at the event which began with the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem by current LHS students.
Davis thanked everyone who had a hand in securing the funds for the new high school, as well as everyone who helped design, plan and build the 300,000-plus square foot complex.
“This did not come about because of me, it came about with a lot of people working together,” Davis noted. He recognized Wilson County commissioners and County Mayor Robert Dedman who was in attendance, and who approved the funding for the new school unanimously.
“When they passed the funding, they passed it unanimously, there were no dissenters,” Davis said. He commended the commissioners for their help and their cooperation in making the new school a reality.
A lot of LHS students turned out to see the ceremony, cheering and celebrating their new home, as well as future students from Walter J. Baird Middle School, Tuckers Crossroads Elementary and Carroll Oakland Elementary.
Bill Morris, the lead architect from Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris, stood up and spoke of the features of the new replacement facility. The school covers 4-1/2 acres of land, featuring a 2,000-seat gymnasium, a 5,000-seat football stadium, 500-seat baseball and softball stadiums, a 1,000-seat theater and a wealth of business, English, fine arts, math classrooms as well as science classrooms and laboratories.
Steve Grandas, general contractor for the R.G. Anderson Company, said he was better at speaking to a small group of contractors as opposed to a large crowd. However, he thanked everyone for their support and for giving them the opportunity to provide the students with a new school.
“We are excited about this project and we look forward to working with the school board,” Grandas said.Afterwards, the students, faculty, school board and county commissioners got to work and pushed their shovels into the dirt to signify the official ground breaking. Students from Tuckers Crossroads, Walter J. Baird, Carroll Oakland and Lebanon High School were the first to fill their shovels and toss it into the air.
Members of the Wilson County Board of Education and county commissioners followed. The large representation of the LHS faculty and administration were next, and were also followed by the LHS football team and the cheerleading squad.
“It was everybody working together, no single individual or group could have done this,” Davis said. “It’s the imprint we leave that matters most when we’re gone and we’re going to leave a tremendous imprint.”
Also in attendance were District 46 State Rep. Stratton Bone and District 17 State Sen. Mae Beavers.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.