Montgomery officially kicks off a new era in education and they did it by turning a little dirt Thursday.
Construction is already underway for the first high school on Montgomery's East side.
City leaders and school officials are calling it a model for the city, county and state.
Montgomery city and county leaders broke ground at the site of new Park Crossing High School, located between Ray Thorington and Taylor Road. When it first opens, the facility will accommodate between two and three hundred ninth and tenth graders. Superintendent Barbara Thompson says ultimately zoning will determine which children attend this school, but the goal is to make sure kids who live close to this location get priority.
"When I was growing up in Georgia I could walk to my school, now you have families that can bike or walk to their school and biking or walking is a healthy thing to do where you live and this is one way to go to school," said Thompson.
Park Crossing High School will be architecturally and technically state of the art with a cyber cafe and a cafeteria that opens up to the the gym. Mayor Todd Strange says having a high school with sidewalk access with these features will benefit Montgomery's growth.
"When people come into a community they want to see things, when they see things they form their impressions, showing them Carver, showing them Wilson, showing them Park Crossing they get the idea that we really do value education in this community," said Strange.
Kendra Allen's daughter Deja just finished Carr Middle School and will be attending Jeff Davis next year. She's looking forward to Deja attending New Park in 2013.
"It will be great for me because she misses the bus sometimes so I don't have to drive so I don't have to drive all the way over to JD to take her to school so it's great for both of us," said Allen.
Superintendent Thompson says this location would be perfect for an agra-business academy because there's ten acres of land to grow crops on, but that's something that will be determined later.
Officials say the school will be open by August 2013.
Thompson says they will gradually phase in 11th and 12th grades in the two years after the first year the school is open.