ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Monroe High School has roots dating back to the early 1940s.
On Wednesday, students now have a recently renovated school, full of new technology and classrooms.
When you think of hidden gems in Albany, Monroe High School may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. But what WALB News 10′s Grason Passmore learned during a walk-through Wednesday, may really surprise you.
Bright lights, big high school? Maybe not how the saying goes, but at Monroe High, the school celebrates its past.
“This part is a part of Monroe’s History, it’s the auditorium,” said Principal Vinson Davis.
It is also a part of its future with new technology, classrooms and even hallways. But Davis makes sure no one forgets the steps it took to get here.
“From Worth, Lee, Terrell, Baker, Madison High School was the school for blacks to be educated. So when it moved here, the named changed to Monroe High School,” said Davis.
History proudly hanging in the hallways for every student to see.
“Every kid has a story. It’s a connection,” Davis said.
Stories Davis said he knows well and are shown in the little things, like secret handshakes during locker breaks.
“So when you know their stories, their names are easy. But if you just remember the name, you don’t have a connection with the kid anyway,” said Davis.
So when you see students, lockers, book bags in hallways, Davis sees the potential for so much more.
“If you see a kid that’s disconnected, they’re not in ROTC, not in any program, if someone doesn’t get a connection with that kid, they’re headed toward dropout,” Davis said.
While of course those surprises inside are pretty cool, Davis said their big push is making sure every student has plans for after graduation.
The community will be at Monroe High Thursday.
They’ll honor Rutha Harris, an alum and an original member of the Civil-Rights Era Freedom Singers, by naming its auditorium after her, which will start at 7 p.m.
School cafeterias aren’t just for eating now.
In the Dougherty County School System, they're all getting a makeover.
The goal is to create an environment that encourages students to learn and boosts morale.
Every school, from elementary to high school, will have a cafeteria makeover.
“Just to make the cafeteria a really nice, up-to-date and encouraging place to eat and hold the other events that they hold,” said Bob Fowler, with the Building and Grounds Committee.
Magnolia Elementary School is the last school that needs a cafeteria renovation.
The project was just approved Wednesday.
And an almost $7 million addition to Sherwood Acres will be done sooner than expected.
On Wednesday, Dougherty County Board of Education members approved filling the multi-million dollar building with new furniture.
The addition will host students who are severely disabled.
It will create a environment that lets students learn in actual classrooms with their peers.
“Basically, we bid the construction and it’s underway. And we’re ahead of schedule by about a week right now. But the other thing we need to do now is buy new furniture, so we used the same architect to design the furniture bid,” said Fowler.
The project should be finished by the end of February.