WISE COUNTY, Va. -
Nearly two decades of debate on whether to consolidate six high schools into three comes to an end in Wise County.
Two new high schools are set to open next week with a price tag of 60 million dollars.
And we discovered that not only did they meet their construction deadline but came in under budget.
Things are quiet on the outside of Wise County's new Central High School but inside the excitement and anticipation are at a fever pitch.
Next week at this time the halls will be filled with excited students at both Central and the new Union High as they returned to new schools following Christmas break.
"We have a very short time period of course to get everything done so all those individuals have been extremely busy working getting their rooms ready. We appreciate all of the the individuals that are making sure we'll be open and ready," Superintendent Jeff Perry says.
Besides school colors the new schools are exactly alike which actually saved the school system money on construction costs in fact we've learned they will return somewhere between 700-thousand to a million dollars back to the board of supervisors.
"In terms of construction schedule we have finished this on time and within schedule and then a lot of individuals were skeptical and critical that we would be able to do this for the amount that we budgeted and actually we're returning money to the board of supervisors," The superintendent said.
Nobody is more excited about the news schools more than the students themselves returning to a brand new schools with new facilities.
"Physical plant, classroom facilities ready for science, chemistry, biology, classroom instructional areas, computer lab, technology access, it's all state of the art," Central Principal Charles Collins said.
"I think that of all of the trials and tribulations that we went through and all the challenges that need to be overcome and all the obstacles that we had to surmount, i think that individuals have been extremely pleased with the final product," Superindentent Perry concluded.
Ribbon cutting for the new Union High will be Monday January 6th and Central on Wednesday January 8th both at 5 p-m.