First Look: Community High School
First Look: Community High School
Posted on 07/10/2018
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper, left, and BCS BCS Facilities and Planning Director Tim Fierle walk down the steps of Community High SchoolBy Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Surrounded by a chorus of clanging metal and buzzing drills, BCS Facilities and Planning Director Tim Fierle led Gov. Roy Cooper and his staff through the newest addition to Community High School (CHS) on Tuesday.

“This is very efficient construction,” Fierle said, sweeping his hands across one of the recently-drywalled classrooms. “Rigid metal skin, tight insulation.”

“And here is the teaching wall,” he added, pointing to the future site of a touchscreen monitor. “We’ll have big active boards in every classroom.”

Community High School Principal Jan Greenhoe, left, shakes hands with N.C. Governor Roy Cooper outside the new wing of Community High School. The new CHS wing, scheduled for completion this winter, will feature spacious classrooms, more spaces for small group and individualized instruction, better technology integration, and an energy-efficient design, Fierle said. The new building also expands and improves the school’s Food Lab, Agricultural Sciences department, and Early Childhood Education department.

“The students, the more they see the more excited they get,” said CHS Principal Jan Greenhoe. “I think it will enhance our sense of community. We’re looking forward to having the new technologies, and we’re really grateful to the leadership and vision of the school board and administration.”

Cooper praised that vision as he toured the current school and the unfinished addition. The purpose of his trip to Western North Carolina was to make the case for statewide school construction funding. By comparing the original school building with the new addition, BCS provided the governor with an appropriate illustration of a successful school improvement initiative.

“I’m pleased that Buncombe County was able to step up to begin the renovation to the old Community school and to add on,” he said. “That was a commitment by a lot of the local people here, because traditionally school construction has been the responsibility of the local governments.”

Still, he said, other Western counties with a smaller tax base have a growing need for school construction.

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CHS is an alternative high school situated in the Owen District but serving high school students from across BCS, Asheville City Schools, and the broader region. Construction on the new CHS section began last year and will replace most of the nearly 90-year-old Swannanoa High School building. The façade of the original building will remain intact, and a new cafeteria will be attached to it. BCS is grateful for support from our local communities as we prepare our students for their tomorrow.

“Our staff is dedicated to our students, and I think students will feel a pride of ownership,” Greenhoe said. “The students, the more they see the more excited they get. I think it will enhance our sense of community.”

An artist's rendition of the new wing of Community High School.
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