Major Construction, Minimal Cost

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

The halls of Central High in Woodstock have been filled with dust and noise since construction began there last summer. But students are starting to see their new school take shape.

It's just a glimpse of what Central, Strasburg and Stonewall Jackson High Schools will look like next year.

\Dr. Danny Northern, School Superintendent for Shenandoah County, says, "It certainly is a wonderful thing to see take place, a source of great pride for me individually and as a community to see these things emerge from the ground."

Northern is on the fore-front of this face-lift. It's a pricey project, but much less expensive than school construction elsewhere in the Valley.

Handley High School in Winchester is looking to renovate for $47 million. Harrisonburg is planning to spend $41 million on its new high school. But Shenandoah County is spending only $31 million to improve and expand three of its schools.

"I think we're getting a real value for the money our county is spending," says Northern.

County supervisors toured Central Wednesday to see what kind of bang they're getting for their buck. The schools will each get new classrooms, libraries, gyms, offices and infrastructures.

It's quite an accomplishment for Northern and even has him nominated for Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

"He's a visionary. He not only sees what's happening today and tomorrow, but much further down the road. And I think he's a tremendous leader,” Mike McCormick, Principal of Central High, says.

Northern has also been able to get all Shenandoah County schools fully accredited before Virginia's deadline. It's one of only 18 school divisions in the state to do so.

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