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Hartselle Enquirer

Achieving the ‘wow’ factor

Last week was a bit of a homecoming for me.

The Hartselle at Mortimer Jordan football game last Friday night gave me the opportunity to return to my high school alma mater and see just what our new high school looked like.

The new MJHS was talked about for more than a decade, ever since we were classified as a 5A school in 1996. At that time, our narrow hallways made it difficult for students for more than 700 in grades 7-12 to change classes. If you were in the eighth grade at that time, all of your classrooms were trailers.

The “new” gym, which was built in the 1960s, had barely enough room for the student body during an assembly or a pep rally. Our old gym was a product of the Works Progress Administration, which was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a part of the New Deal.

And we didn’t have much in the way of laboratories, whether they were computer labs or science labs.

However, seeing the new high school definitely instilled a sense of pride for Mortimer Jordan. It definitely achieved the “wow” factor that you want to have when you build something brand new like this.

It had all of the things we wished we could have had when I was in school and more. The athletic facilities were a major upgrade from what we had. One of the featured that interested me since I was in band was having private, soundproof practice rooms, something that I think all band rooms need to have.

That’s just one of the things that caught my attention. The other was the superb lighting at the new football field, which made it easier to take photos at the game.

While I’m proud to see my high school move forward in a new building, I’m just as excited to see Hartselle moving forward with its new high school.

Many of the things that Hartselle is building in its new building are things that the current facility doesn’t offer. Probably one of the things Hartselle High doesn’t have now is one thing that the old MJHS also didn’t have either – an auditorium. It always made it difficult on the band or choir to have concerts because we always had to use the gym or a church in the community.

I know Hartselle band, choir and drama club members are looking forward to the day when they have a theater of their own at the school, and that time is just about a year away.

When that new building is complete and has its open house, I hope the new Hartselle High School will have the same “wow” factor that I had when I went back home this weekend.

If Hartselle City Schools can pull that off, I know it will be something that will be a source of pride for Hartselle.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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