One school system, the Portsmouth City Schools, begin this new school year in brand new buildings.
“I'm describing it this way, ‘Bridge the past while preserving the heritage,'” said Portsmouth City Schools Superintendent Jan Broughton.
Portsmouth Junior High and Portsmouth High School are in a new building on Gallia Street, across from the Portsmouth Public Library. The building contains approximately 186,000 square feet, and also houses two gymnasiums.
“The larger one is the one the high school team will play its games on, and it seats 2,200,” said Ralph Applegate, director of new facilities. “lt has six locker rooms, too, four for sports competition and two for gym classes.”
Applegate said that the school has two gyms based on student population.
The new elementary school is located between Union and Glover streets, and is approximately 165,000 square feet in size. The elementary school is also equipped with two gyms.
Applegate said the schools should be ready for classes to begin Wednesday.
“There's only been a small number of issues with the entire project, like maybe a contractor had to come back to complete something, and some supplies haven't arrived, but the murals are done, and sound and light training completed, so all that's left is key distribution,” said Applegate. “Key distribution sounds like a small thing, but it's a major endeavor. It will take days to complete.”
Broughton said that the new facilities are more than just infrastructure.
“It shows a love and passion for public education. It is teachers, board, administration and the community working together toward a common goal,” she said.
Starting back to school Monday are the Green Local School District, Minford Local School District, Valley Local School District, Washington-Nile Local School District, Scioto County Joint Vocational School classes for juniors and Wellston City Schools.
Tuesday, seniors go back to the Scioto County JVS, Vern Riffe School opens its doors and Adams County schools kick off their school year.
Wednesday, the Clay Local School district resumes classes, along with Portsmouth City Schools. Wednesday will also see the opening of Wheelersburg schools.
On Thursday, Portsmouth City Schools will observe the dedication of their new facilities at 12:30 p.m. Thursday also is the beginning of the school year for Notre Dame Local School district.
Students at New Boston, Waverly, Western and Piketon schools will all head back to class on Friday.
Eastern Local School District, will not open until Aug. 28, and Sciotoville Community Schools on Aug. 30. Northwest Local School District and Head Start will begin their school years on Sept. 5.