With shovels in hand, Bossier School officials and the town of Haughton broke ground on a brand new middle school last week.
Cold wind and rain was not enough to deter the smiles and excitement at this event. The town really put on a show for this historic occasion, bringing in the middle school band, cheerleaders and mascot for the occasion.
It was quite clear that Haughton is full of spirit and very excited about its new school. Principal Waylon Bates said he, along with the students, faculty and staff, are eager to move into the new building.
“This has been in the making for a while and I think the town, community and school system is ready for it,” Bates said. “We are very crowded at our current location so this will provide relief to not only the teachers, but for the students. When you’re in a new, state-of-the-art facility, you’re able to do more innovative teaching.”
School officials were joined by state and local dignitaries, project coordinators and students for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new three-story Haughton Middle School. The building will be the first of its kind and the largest, with a capacity of 1,500 students.
Keith Norwood, Bossier Schools Construction and Planning Supervisor, said this school will be larger than Parkway High School, the previous largest school built in Bossier Parish. He noted that the new Haughton Middle School will hold 50 more students than the south Bossier school.
The current student enrollment at Haughton Middle is over 1,000 students, a figure that Bates projects will only increase moving forward. To accommodate its population, the middle school will have a large, centrally located commons/dining area will be incorporated into the academic wing. Athletic facilities will include a gym with bleacher seating for 1,000, with the capability for additional bleacher and floor seating.
Due to the large number of buses and traffic generated from parent pick-up and drop-off, parking will be designed for 40 buses and 200+ vehicles, as well as 500 spaces for event parking.
Bates, a product of Bossier Schools, said he is looking forward to continuing the tradition of excellence his community is known for. He’s thankful to have the community’s support.
“When I came to Haughton three years ago, I quickly realized that this was not only a superb place to live, but it’s a superb school system,” Bates said. “The people in Haughton are just fantastic and very supportive.”
The new Haughton Middle School will be nestled on 30+ acres along Highway 3227 (to the west of the Tuscany subdivision) and is slated to open in the fall of 2016.