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Groundbreaking marks start of new school in Jones County

On Friday, a groundbreaking for a new K-12th grade school that will be a state-of-the-art project. It will replace a school that's more than 65 years old. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo)

It's a project 30 years in the making.

Jones County is one step closer to getting a new school. On Friday, a groundbreaking for a new K-12th grade school that will be a state-of-the-art project. It will replace a school that's more than 65 years old. This moment ends 30 years of hoping, dreaming and lots of planning.

"We need some upgrades," said Michael White, principal of Jones Senior High School. "We're trying to take care of what we've got but, at the same time, it's in desperate need."

Those needs will soon be met with a 124,000 square foot building now being built off Hwy. 58 in Trenton. It will replace Trenton Elementary School, Jones Middle School and Jones Senior High School. The new project is certainly something to be proud of and is desperately needed.

"This is the inside of what the cafeteria is going to look like," White said as he showed off designs for the school. "And this is our media center and these are the classrooms along the side of that."

"Right now my office is actually the size of a classroom so when you're trying to put 30 kids in this size classroom it's very cramped, especially when they're high school students," White said.

Many like White see this as a huge step toward bringing the Jones County School District up to speed with other districts in the state.

"It's only fair to them and everybody that we all offer state of the art technology, state of the art education so they are prepared," White said. "Just because you're born or blessed with money or a different part of the state, it should not mean that you get a different or worse education."

The total cost of the project is about $40 million. Funds come from state appropriation grants and loan money. It should be completed in time for use in the 2019-2020 school year.

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