Groundbreaking: Tallulah Academy begins rebuilding project

Published 1:30 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Construction of two new buildings is officially underway at Tallulah Academy after a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, just over two years after parts of the school’s campus was destroyed by a tornado.

Tallulah Academy Interim Principal Mary Claude Glass said the new project is a long time in the making and is exciting for teachers and students alike. 

“We expect the construction to take about a year,” Glass said. “Until that time, our seventh through twelfth grades will remain in the portable buildings across the street at Parkview Baptist Church. We also have use of their gym and it is right next to our elementary school, so it’s just been a blessing.”

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When completed, Glass said the two new buildings will include a new gymnasium and a separate building housing the school’s cafeteria, office, library and eight-to-ten classrooms for seventh through twelfth grades.

And the school’s new library, Glass announced during Tuesday’s groundbreaking, will be an especially treasured spot on the new campus.

“One of our longtime teachers, Caryn Oliver, passed away last week with cancer,” Glass said. “Our board voted unanimously to name the library in the new school after her. So, it has been a difficult week for us, but that was a happy note and something we were thrilled to do to honor her memory.”

Glass said the new additions to campus will also come with safety upgrades.

“The safety of the new facility is state of the art,” she said. “The old building was constructed in the late 1960s, so we didn’t have school shootings and things like that then. The new design has more safety features in place, so that’s something we’re excited about.”

In addition to protection from man-made dangers, Glass said the school’s new facilities will also include a safe room/shelter large enough for the entire school’s occupancy in order to guard against injuries in the event of another storm like the 2022 tornado that destroyed the old buildings.

Glass said there is still a long way to go before the Trojan family is settled into the new facilities at Tallulah Academy, but thanked the community for its overwhelming support over the last several years.

“The community support and the support of our board, parents and volunteers has just been amazing,” Glass said. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of support from everyone in the community and we’re so grateful.”