Keeping an eye on the prize.

editorial-logo3Students head back to class this week and that means a lot of changes for Jefferson County. For the first time in more than 30 years, freshmen will not be on the main campus of Jefferson County High School and that has many parents breathing a sigh of relief. It is difficult enough for some parents to send their child to their first day of high school even without it looking like something after a bombing in a third world country. That the freshmen will be entering a brand new school is a point of comfort for even those parents that are opposed to an off campus freshman year. That the JCHS main campus would be under construction and things would be messy was understood. What teachers and parents are having a hard time with is the level of disarray in combination with the collapsed roof at building 8. If the collapse had never happened, most of the mess would have just been put down to the renovation project and the price of progress but the roof has everyone a little jittery. Some of the teachers at JCHS were shocked when they returned to school last week and they have been vocal with their concerns. Engineers have been on site over the weekend and there is expected to be a declaration of all being sound for the start of school early in the week. That doesn’t mean that it will all be pretty and it doesn’t mean that all the challenges are over. It will, undoubtedly, be a stressful start to school as students and teachers accommodate the renovation process. It has been my experience that teenagers are extremely flexible and most will quickly learn to walk the renovation tight rope. Adults are another story entirely. If the all clear is given and the school is deemed to be structurally sound, then we must make the next months as normal as possible for the students at Jefferson County High School. Sure, it looks like something from Chernobyl now but that will not always be the case. One day the community will be standing at an open house and before us will be the new and improved Jefferson County High School. Long gone will be the memories of falling roofs and inadequate parking, cracked, dusty classroom and pillars reinforcing walls and ceilings. The road to that day will certainly be bumpy, filled with pot holes but if our children are safe and if the academic process can continue so that our students are not a casualty of renovation then we will have a facility that will, once again, be the flagship school of the County. Until then, we are just treading water and trying to stay afloat because we are in too deep to turn back now. Sink or Swim? There really is only one choice. Keep your eye on the prize and kick for the shore.

Source: K. Depew, News Director