JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Jasper High School students finally walked through the doors of their new school Wednesday morning.
Last summer, alumni and current students started a petition to stop the name change from Walker High School to Jasper High School.
School leaders say the change was a move to help the city stand out.
It’s been a long time coming for Jasper City Schools. The new building has been in the works for about 10 years now.
Some of the major changes, besides the name, includes more focus on helping students start professional careers early like a culinary program, a performing arts center and innovative science labs.
Superintendent Ann Jackson says the discussion about the name change dates back to the 1970’s, when the city bought the school from the county. Jackson says it just made sense to change the name now.
“It’s something that our board felt very strongly that it was time for us to have our own flagship school,” said Jackson.
The new high school is so massive that come next school year, the 7th and 8th graders will be moved there. CBS42 spoke to some alumni who say, for the most part, they’re ok with the name change.
“It’s a city school, I guess it’s named properly at this time. I can accept that with no problem,” said Bill Gober, Walker County High School Class of 54′.
“You know when I played football and went to Walker High School, a lot of people didn’t know where Walker was and now they do know where Jasper is,” said John Kirkpatrick, Walker County High School Class of 66′.
“If they had left it the way it was I’d been happy and I’m happy with the way they’ve changed it,” said Ivan Schislom, a Jasper resident.
CBS42 spoke to 3 other people who said they did not like the new name but will have to get used to it now.
The new Jasper High School can hold up to 1,200 students, right now 800 are enrolled there.
“It’s going to be something special and for future generations, I may only be in there for two years but people may be coming up there from 9th grade all the way to seniors maybe my children will be in there so it may be something special to be left behind,” said junior Brauden Eyavritt.