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Stanley Middle holds grand opening ceremony

Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the grand opening of Stanley Middle School

Students, teachers, parents, school officials, and community leaders gathered Sunday, March 25 for a ceremony to mark the official grand opening of Stanley Middle School.

More than 400 people attended the ceremony, which featured remarks by school principal Rebecca Huffstetler, Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker, Board of Education chairman Kevin Collier, and others.  Click here to read the program. The event also included a reception and self-guided tours.

“The new Stanley Middle School is an incredible facility,” stated Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker.  “From the time we broke ground on the project in July 2016 until now, it took approximately 600 days to complete construction, and it was well worth the wait.”

Booker added, “With this new building comes a state-of-the-art environment for quality teaching and accelerated learning – a special place that will evoke great pride and enthusiasm among students, teachers, parents, and the Stanley community for many years to come.”

■ About the new Stanley Middle School
The school is an investment in the Stanley community of approximately $30 million – a construction project paid for through the 2007 school bonds.

The new school was built on the same Hovis Road campus as the old school.  It is located on space previously occupied by the football field. In the months ahead, the old building will be removed, and new athletic fields and the main entranceway will be placed there.

The contemporary, two-story structure is stately in appearance, thanks to the contrasting color of bricks, numerous large windows, and state-of-the-art design that rivals any modern school facility.  The color scheme of royal and light blue with lime green, white, and gray as accent colors provides an inviting look for the school’s interior.

The building spans approximately 144,000 square feet with contemporary classrooms, various instructional spaces, science labs, administrative offices, conference rooms, teacher workrooms, a large cafeteria/multipurpose space, band/chorus rooms, and other areas.  It is designed for 800 students with the ability to accommodate 1,000.

At the heart of the school is the library/media center that boasts a unique two-floor design.  No matter where students and teachers are in the building, they are only a few steps away from the library and its many academic and enrichment resources.  

The spacious classrooms are designed to support collaborative teaching and learning.  Flat panel screens, oversized whiteboards, instructional technology, and other features transform the classrooms and captivate the students’ attention through highly visual and interactive elements.

Another significant feature is the gymnasium complete with a spacious lobby, locker rooms, concession stand, and weight/fitness areas.  The gymnasium is a stand-alone space that is connected to the main building by a hallway and outdoor courtyard area. The design makes the gymnasium conducive for hosting events after hours and on weekends without having to access the main building.

■ Home for STEAM Academy
Beginning next school year (2018-2019), Gaston County Schools’ new STEAM Academy for grades 6-8 will be housed at Stanley Middle School.  The school choice program will offer a distinct emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics for all students at the school.  Through the STEAM Academy, students will be immersed in academic experiences that balance science and technology with mathematics and engineering and infuse artistic concepts.  Applications for the Academy will be accepted April 1 through May 15.

■ Watch ceremony on Channel 21
The grand opening ceremony was recorded and will air on Spectrum Cable Channel 21 the week of April 2-8 at the following times each day:  10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.  The video also will be available on the Gaston County Schools YouTube page.  Additionally, the Stanley Middle groundbreaking ceremony from July 2016 will re-air at 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.

VIDEO:  Click here to watch the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

VIDEO:  Click here to watch the groundbreaking ceremony from July 2016.