Yadkin County officials braved the rainy weather Monday to break ground on the two new middle schools sites in the county.
Commissioners and Board of Education members stopped at the Forbush Middle School site first around 4 p.m. to symbolically dig their gold shovels into the mud.
"It may be raining, but this is one bright shiny day for the Yadkin school system," Board of Education Vice Chairman Frank Brown said over the sound of rain pounding on a line of umbrellas.
"With the changes we have made with the math and science buildings and now the middle schools, Yadkin County will be behind no school system when it comes to facilities."
Karin Mendhall, chairwoman of the Board of Education praised the efforts of both the Yadkin County Commissioners and the Board of Education for getting the job done on the middle schools.
"We would not be here today without the help of each one of the school board members and the county commissioners," Mendenhall said. "The board of commissioners really took the plan and ran with it and the school board worked with commissioners and this happened. We are extremely grateful for them, and again none of this would have happened if not for those individuals. I would like to thank them for what they have done for our school system, and we know that for years this will benefit many students and families and will be assets to the communities."
Commission Chairwoman Kim Phillips said the schools are one of, if not the, most important aspects county officials can work for. She said she initially ran for office to do just that.
"This is an awesome time to be in Yadkin County," Phillips said. "There is nothing more significant that we could be doing for the people of our county. We want to thank all the Board of Education members and the people who worked on this project for a number of years. This is an awesome time and and an awesome opportunity."
Officials hope the middle schools, which are both located beside or near the current high schools, will offer Yadkin County students with more opportunities for higher classes sooner than they could be offered in the traditional elementary school system.
At a joint meeting between commissioners and the Board of Education on Jan. 28, discussion began over changes and upgrades in the curriculum to be offered at the middle schools.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Benfield said then that with the advent of the new schools students will be able to take algebra and biology in the 8th grade, one year earlier than is currently available.
Both schools are set to be completed by Fall of 2009.