Demolition and new construction at Newnan High School are set to begin this summer.
Coweta County School System Superintendent Dr. Evan Horton said he aims for students to be in the new buildings at NHS in August 2024.
Horton spoke at the Newnan Rotary Club's Friday meeting on the upcoming demolition and reconstruction of Newnan High School.
Horton said "significant demolition" of the older and damaged buildings at the NHS campus will begin around June 1.
The goal is to have the bulk of the demolition completed in the summer so construction of the academic building can begin by October, he said.
NHS's fieldhouse has already been demolished, Horton said, because the damage to it from the EF-4 tornado resulted in safety concerns. With the fieldhouse gone, construction of a new gym in its place will begin first, and Horton said he expects the gym to be completed by next summer.
"It's about $22 million. It's going to go where the fieldhouse was by the Max Bass Gym," he said.
According to Horton, there are two goals with the construction at the high school.
The first is that the new buildings need to reflect the character of NHS, he said.
"It has to fit the community," Horton said. "We've told the architects it has to fit Newnan … I think we've accomplished that."
Secondly, Horton said the goal is for the new buildings at the high school to be more functional than the previous academic buildings.
When a new building was needed at the campus, a new building was built. Moving from building to building required students to occasionally walk through the rain. The previous version of the campus had some safety concerns, too. With how open the campus was and the variety of buildings, people could walk onto the campus, Horton said.
The new buildings will make some adjustments to the campus, according to Horton. There will be five self-contained buildings, instead of the previous 12, with wider hallways, which will make navigating the school safer and more comfortable for the students.
"High schools are big places with a lot of moving parts and people. We don't want (the students) to be cramped. It will have everything that it should have for a modern facility," Horton said.
According to Horton, partnerships with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance funding are helping pay for the project.
NHS was built in 1952 and has served the community for 70 years.
Horton said he hopes the new buildings will serve the community for the next 70 years and the decisions made regarding them will serve students that he and the current staff will never get to meet.
"Those buildings at Newnan High served our community and our kids for seven decades," he said. "My goal, for the facility over there, is for it to be the centerpiece and for it to serve the next 70 years just as well as those buildings served our community for the last 70 years."