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New Facility Signals Start Of New Era At University High

Aug. 23, 2011

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Normally on the first day of class in a high school, the upperclassmen laugh at the freshmen trying to find their way around. But yesterday at University, even the seniors found themselves in need of a little guidance.

Like ushers at a movie theatre, employees like Vicky Brown were guiding students to their correct classrooms in the 70 million dollar facility that replaces the six-plus decade old facility on Bagby Avenue. Principal Nolan Correa was beaming.

After two and a half years of planning, the blueprints are now reality. University Trojan fingerprints are everywhere, as students and staff voted on the designs for parts of the building. The striking rotundas, skylights, and enormous hallways stand out from the moment you walk in. But it's the space and expanded educational facilities that leap out at Correa.

There's also a piano lab with sixteen pianos, state-of-the-art computer labs, a football practice field, and more. Teachers were still wide-eyed too, even though they'd been in the building plenty already. The classroom of chemistry teacher Jeremy Morgan, a self-described "south Waco boy" is right next to one of the new science labs. Morgan says it's hard to believe that this facility now houses his alma mater. Two of his students, sophomores Jerdarien DeGrade and Brittany Cobbs weren't quite as expansive, but complimentary nonetheless.

Correa believes that students like DeGrade and Cobbs, as well as their 1500 other fellow University students will be attain greater heights in the new building, a symbol that he says places responsbility on the shoulders of everyone who wears the school's purple colors.

Tomorrow, we'll visit Waco High School in a conversation with new principal Alfredo Loredo. Previous education stories can be found online at www.kwbu.org./news. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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