New Patrick Henry School opens its doors

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Patrick Henry students enjoyed their new classrooms for the first time on Tuesday. (Photo/ACPS)
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By Cody Mello-Klein | cmelloklein@alextimes.com

After 18 months of construction, the new Patrick Henry School and Patrick Henry Neighborhood Recreation Center opened to students and the community on Tuesday.

“This is a momentous day for our children and community,” Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutchings, Ed.D., said in a statement. “We are delighted that the city and schools have been able to collaborate so well on this project to ensure the end result works as a 21st-century facility for our young learners as well as a recreation center at the heart of the community.”

The project, which broke ground on June 22, 2017, expanded Patrick Henry from a 650-student, pre-K through fifth grade school into a 900-student, kindergarten through eighth grade school. The project cost $62.8 million, $52.3 million for the school and $10.5 million for rec center, Senior Project Manager Paul May said.

The new three-story school has expanded parking, a new Tot Lot, a cafetorium, a black box theater for performances and a gymnasium. The school will share several of those spaces – the black box theater, gymnasium and a multipurpose room – with the rec center. The shared spaces will be restricted to school use until 4:30 p.m., after which they will be available to community members through the rec center.

The recreation center features an indoor track, a flex court for basketball, volleyball and pickleball and new fields – including one made of synthetic turf. It will also have multi- purpose rooms for community classes on everything from programming to arts and crafts.

“It was a lot of hard work, but our children deserve it,” Patrick Henry Principal Ingrid Bynum said.

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