Sumter County officials break ground on a new high school

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SUMTER COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – Sumter County officials broke ground on a new high school, a project that has been in the works for the past ten years. 

n”Well this was a long time coming. I think everybody is just excited, we’re ecstatic of this new era that we’re fixing to create,” Dr. Torrance Choates, Sumter County Schools superintendent.

The roughly 50-million dollar school will replace Americus-Sumter High School. The new school will also include a college and career academy that will help the students develop workforce skills. Brandi Lunneborg says they plan to provide hands-on experience for the students with shadowing opportunities as well as apprenticeships.

“Healthcare is in a critical shortage for a lot of different workforce components particularly nursing, but many other roles as well so educating our local workforce to fill those needs is of critical importance to us,” Lunneborg said.

The new school is on almost 300 acres of land directly across from South Georgia Technical College.

“With a college and career academy, those instructors will come to our campus and we will have it open not just to our students, but the students from the technical college will come over to take a course. Those instructors will use our infrastructure, which is the college and career academy building, to teach classes to our students as well adult students that would come on the campus,” Kimothy Hadley, Americus-Sumter High School principal said.

Sumter County Schools Superintendent Torrance Choates (Shoats) says that was done intentionally to help with dual enrollment courses and other partnerships. Hadley is the principal at Americus-Sumter and says the students are looking forward to moving to a brand new school.

“Well, our students were actually part of the process with naming the college and career academy, looking at what facilities and features they would like to see in the new high school. So, surveys were done where students had some input. They have really contributed and the students are actually excited. Today really marks a milestone where students actually know something has happened,” Hadley said.

Hadley says there are currently around 1,100 students at Americus-Sumter, but the new high school classroom sizes will be larger and is being built for 1,700 students.  Officials say they plan to come back in two years for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

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