ACHS acknowledges completion of new annex with groundbreaking ceremony | News

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NEWLAND — The spring production of Avery County High School’s drama program “High School Musical” featured a performance of a song called “We’re All in This Together,” singing the aforementioned lyrics that weren’t just performed by cast members during recent production, but was also covered by the band in a ceremony on Sunday, May 1, which brought to a crescendo a nearly four-year journey leading to the completion of the ACHS’ new two-story wing and renovations.

Avery County education officials, along with local and state government officials and the community, gathered at Avery High School’s new facility to cut the ribbon for the official completion of the larger project. renovation of the school’s more than 50-year history.

Over 100 speakers, students, faculty and guests were on hand at CAHS for the occasion, providing bites and refreshments to welcome guests to the new facility. The event also featured a tour of the new facilities which, although officially christened on May 1, saw the vast majority of the facility in use for a significant portion of the school year as checklists were reduced and minor additions have been made in recent months.

Among the dignitaries present for the occasion were State Senators Deanna Ballard, Warren Daniel and Ralph Hise. Key local leaders were also in attendance, including Avery County Board of Education Chairman John Greene and board members Kathey Aldridge, Jane Bumgarner, Pat Edwards and Ruth Shirley, as well as the Superintendent of ‘ACS, Dr. Dan Brigman. Avery County commissioners were on hand for the ceremony, including Woodie Young, Dennis Aldridge and Tim Phillips.

Avery High School Principal Ricky Ward spoke at the ceremony, which also included remarks from Greene, Avery County Principal Phillip Barrier, County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Avery, Martha Hicks, and Pierre Henwood of Boomerang Design of Charlotte, who served as project manager.

“We had a wonderful turnout for the ribbon cutting, there were about 100 people in attendance,” said AHS manager Ricky Ward. “The new building is a real blessing for our students, faculty and staff. What a wonderful place to learn and work.

Ward also expressed his gratitude to local leaders whose efforts made the renovation a reality.

“Thank you to the school board, the board of commissioners, the county superintendent and the citizens of Avery County for providing a building we can be proud of for our students,” added Ward.

Along with Ward addressing the audience, Brigman took to the stage and praised the state-of-the-art facility, congratulating himself on its completion.

“This project has made everyone involved with the school prouder than ever to be an Avery High Viking and Avery County Viking,” Brigman said.

In addition, Barrier shared with the public the satisfaction with the project resulting from a long-term team effort, while Hicks expressed his gratitude to the county taxpayers for entrusting the leadership to bring the project to fruition as well as to current and future students at ACHS who now and in the years to come will benefit from the commitment made by leaders in the region to provide the kind of facility to promote learning and school pride.

Avery Brook senior students Cheuvront and Baker Bumgarner represented the school’s student body at the official ribbon cutting signifying the completion of the project, while other students, including Avery High School JROTC Color Guard, presented colors in honor of the nation.

Despite a pandemic and delays along the way, the new facility is a testament to being “all in this together” to carry out a generational project to benefit the education and training of today’s students and beyond.

Rufus T. Sifford