New HJECC wing is ‘for the children’

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hank Jones smiled and snapped the big scissors across the red ribbon in front of him. “For the children,” he said, as the crowd around agreed out loud.

Jones, former superintendent of the Troy City Schools, was on hand Monday for the ribbon cutting on the new wing of the Hank Jones Early Childhood Center. The wing houses classrooms for the school’s new pre-kindergarten program.

“This is a special night for our school system,” said Dr. Judson Edwards, president of the Board of Education.

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“This (facility and program) is a good start to what we’re trying to do here with the kids in our system…it’s a top-quality facility and I believe it will help the students in the long run.”

Jones agreed, telling the school board members and Superintendent Lee Hicks, “I thank you for this addition because it furthers what we want to do to provide for the children of Troy.

“I’m very proud of the progress that has been made.”

Three classes are housed in the new wing as part of the program’s inaugural year. Hicks said he has been pleased with the program’s beginning and the start of school throughout the district.

“We’ve completed a week of school and a lot of positive things have happened,” he said.

Among achievements he cited were the opening of the pre-kindergarten program, the one-on-one initiative which will put iPads in the hands of all Charles Henderson High School students in September, and the CHHS varsity win over Pike County High School last week. “I want to thank Coach Dean and the Charles Henderson football team for presenting themselves in a manner we want to show,” he said.

In other business at its meeting on Monday, the board:

• Approved a medical leave for Angela Newby, kindergarten teacher. The leave is from Sept. 18 until Nov. 26 and Hick said a substitute will be hired.

• Approved a bid from Dasher Technologies to provide a new data system and data center for the district. The bid, at $75,290, will provide a new, centralized server for the district, along with support. Wayne Hubbard said the move to virtualize the servers will reduce the system’s utility consumption while providing a more stable and efficient server program.

• Approved the hiring of McKee and Associates as the architect for the Charles Henderson Middle School renovation project and the addition of a softball field at Charles Henderson High School. “It was a very easy decision to make,” Hicks said.

“They have been easy to work with (on other projects) and have a vested interest in Troy City Schools.”

The district plans to invest approximately $8.4 million in the renovation of CHMS and the addition of the softball complex. “I see the middle school as a chance for us to do something special,” Edwards said.

“We’ve stepped out on a limb making sure we invested in this system in the way we needed to (invest.)”