Crowd flocks to open house at BCM

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

They came, they saw, they were impressed. Approximately 800 to 900 people packed the senior high gymnasium at the new Butler County Magnet School campus in Georgiana for the facility’s open house on Sunday.

it was the first glimpse for many of the interior of the school, which will house K-6 students and 7-12 students in separate wings.

The school will offer a traditional curriculum along with an advanced magnet curriculum focusing on math, science and technology, making it the first magnet school in the tri-county (Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw) area.

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While some furnishings, library books and other items were not yet in place, the spacious, ultra-modern building with its 30-plus flat screen, wall-mounted televisions, color-coded hallways and full handicapped accessibility drew many positive comments.

“This is – wow! I wish I had had a place like this back when I was going to school in Georgiana . . . it almost makes me want to go back to school,” said Sally Carlyon.

“This is just beautiful, isn’t it?” said long-time Butler County educator Millie McDonald, who came to tour the facility in spite of recovering from knee surgery this summer.

A number of local and state dignitaries were present for the occasion, their remarks heard by a overflow crowd spilling out into the gym lobby.

“Some time ago we embarked on a journey . . . and the outcome of this journey is this building . . . this is a wonderful day in Georgiana and Butler County,” said superintendent Mike Looney. “We all have something we can be proud of.”

“Can you believe this?” asked school board president Joe Lisenby with a smile. “You are all in for a delightful treat.”

Senator Wendell Mitchell commented the new magnet school was “as good a school facility“ as he had ever seen.

Georgiana mayor Mike Middleton called it a “great day for Georgiana.”

“I think these kids don’t really realize just what’s in store for them here . . . we appreciate all your support today, but remember – the school needs your support all the time,” MIddleton said.

Possibly the proudest person on stage Sunday was BCM principal Joseph Dean, who was presented with the “real key” to the new school by Looney to thunderous applause.

“I won’t promise you I will be the best principal ever, but I will give it the best I have to offer,” Dean said. “When I drove into the parking lot and saw this facility, I was reminded, ‘To him who has been given much, much is required.'”

Looney declared himself delighted with the large turnout for the event. “That parking lot is full . . . people are excited about this place,” he said.

Dean said orientation for K-6 students at BCMS was set for July 23 at 6 p.m. with high school orientation scheduled for July 27 at 6 p.m. Students will be introduced to their teachers, receive supply lists and visit their classrooms during the orientations.