Principal Lindsey Allen gazed over the audience and especially the Buford High School staff he had just asked to stand to its feet.
“These are dream makers and the dream navigators,” he said. “These are the people who are going to inhabit these classrooms and hallways. They are going to ensure our kids finish strong.”
Allen’s words capped an hour-long ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday, July 28, at the new Buford High School, which is opening for the 2019-20 school year at 2455 Buford Highway.
Hundreds of Buford High supporters, including students and parents, and current and former faculty, packed the school theater to watch as officials cut a green ribbon that draped across the stage.
The ceremony was filled with speakers and music, with memories shared of old high schools and teachers, and a look ahead at life on the new campus, which sits sprawling a couple miles south of the Hall County line.
“We need to make sure we help children with dreams,” said state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, who was raised in Buford. “They’ve all got dreams.”
Some 1,500 students will start classes Aug. 7 at the $85 million school, which was paid for by special purpose local option sales tax money.
The school, featuring three separate buildings, sits on 50 acres between Hamilton Mill and Thompson Mill roads.
Design and planning began in mid-2014 and construction started in early 2017, according to school officials.
The buildings can house up to 2,100 students
“Security is paramount in the new facility, with the main entrance opening to a security vestibule controlling access with cameras and electronic locks,” a school press release states.
Rising seniors Charlie Darracott and Evan McPhilimy said they particularly like the media center, which features couches and upholstered chairs, small tables and computer stations.
But overall, they were impressed with the school.
“It is so different (from the old school), I wouldn’t even know how to compare them,” McPhilimy said.