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arts to school

White County High School breaks ground on new performing arts center

White County Schools held a groundbreaking Tuesday morning for a brand new performing arts center at the former site of White County High School’s baseball field.

Scott Justus, assistant superintendent with White County Schools, said the district had been having conversations about the project for a little over a year leading up to the groundbreaking.

Charles Black Construction will build the facility, and Breaux and Associates did the architecture work on the project.

“We’re moving along, hoping to open by [the time] school starts in 2023,” Justus said. “Worst case scenario would be Christmas.”

The new facility will house band, chorus, and theatre, and will seat about 700 people for performances. That’s about double the current theatre capacity. According to Justus, the project is being paid for thanks to help from the county’s ESPLOST.

The facility will be built where the baseball field was once located. Justus said this will allow for some upgrades to the baseball and softball fields, which will be moved to the left of the football field.

The school has other construction projects underway, including a new transportation facility located off Testanee Gap Valley Road.

“Our bus drivers and our transportation directors and our people that work in our transportation are super excited,” Justus said. “It’s going to have new technologies, new buildings … it’s actually going to have more bays, a couple of things are electronic in there that we just haven’t had.”

Justus said Superintendent Dr. Laurie Burkett was the driving force behind these big projects.