MILLINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Wednesday was a day the city of Millington and Shelby County Schools have desperately been waiting for - the day officials broke ground on the new Millington Central High School.
"It's a positive step for Millington, something that we really need to improve our image and help retain people here," Millington Mayor Richard Hodges said. "It's going to be a first class school."
Phase one of the campus improvement project includes the demolition of the gym by the Freshman Academy, and the construction of a new science lab, library, and cafeteria.
The Action News 5 investigators first showed you the deplorable conditions at the school last year, including a flooded science lab, peeling paint in the library, mold, and cracking walls.
"The science building was dilapidated and in terrible shape," Commissioner-elect Terry Roland said. "Of course, we've been needing a cafeteria for a long time."
Those images got the attention of both state and local leaders, and prompted city and county officials to spring into action.
"If we're going to have the type of school the community deserves, the type of growth and development, the type of pride for everyone, rather it be a graduate of Millington, a student, a citizen whatever, we knew we needed to make changes out here," Shelby County Board of Education Chairman David Pickler said.
The Shelby County Board of Education approved $5 million for the first phase of the project, with the money coming from the district's capital improvement budget.
"This is going to be a great step for our economic development for business and everything in Millington," Roland said. "This is going to pump all kinds of energy into our town."
Phase one of the project is scheduled to be completed by the 2011-12 school year.