With a lift of a shovel and a little help from two beauty queens, education officials broke ground on the new Blountstown High School on Monday.
Many say it's been a long road and one that required a lot of teamwork.
"There's an old African proverb that says it takes a whole village to raise a child. Well, this project took our whole community. We've had so many people that's helped us with this project, we can't begin to name everybody," says Tommy McClellan, Calhoun County Superintendent.
The event brought several guests from the state and county level as well as a few students. All were excited about the school's progress.
"It's something I think we can all be proud of."
14-year-old Hunter Jordan will get to be one of the first classes to enroll.
"I think it will be cool to have a new opportunity to be in a new school, better facilities, be able to learn more and do more," says Jordan, a student at Blountstown Middle School.
The football, baseball and softball practice fields will also be on campus.
"The children come first. It's just nice to see in tough times like this, appropriation of funds have been put out there for projects like this that are gonna benefit our children for years to come," says Danny Hassig
School Board Member, District 5.
But the 24-and-a-half million dollar project will be more than just a school. The facility's cafeteria will also provide Calhoun County with the only state-certified hurricane shelter.
State representative Marti Coley, who was born in Blountstown and was the high school's 1979 homecoming queen, says it will also have a far-reaching impact.
"Having a big project like this right here in Calhoun County not only has a huge impact on the education, it also has an impact on the economy. It creates not only for local providers but for others as well," says Coley.
"I just want to give everybody credit, even the previous administration, this was their brain child."
Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year, with a completion date in May 2011.
The old Blountstown High School will serve as the new home of Blountstown Middle School and provide offices for the Calhoun County school district.