If anyone has a valid reason to hurry through summer and hasten the arrival of the school year, it’s the students, faculty, and administrators of Buford High School. When they return to school this year, they will do so at what has to be considered one of the most modern facilities in the state. The city reportedly invested $85M on the new campus.
A creation of Breaux & Associates Architects out of Alpharetta, if this new campus doesn’t make going to school fun and engaging, nothing will. While everyone in education is familiar with the three R’s (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic), Buford has expanded on their mission to deliver the highest quality in what attracted students to Buford in the first place––the three A’s: Academics, Arts, and Athletics.
So dedicated are administrators to strengthening those three pillars that each of those areas has a building dedicated to it.
“Teachers are excited about the professional atmosphere the building brings with its design,” says principal Lindsey Allen. “They too feel the overall design of the buildings brings a college campus-like feel. In some ways, the new confines elicit a feel of scholarship, citizenship, and leadership which is the expectation for our students.”
More than enjoying a college feel––minus the ivy-covered walls––students will be amazed at how cutting edge their school has become. It is state-of-the-art from classrooms to theatres to locker rooms.
Teachers will have access to the latest educational tools and students will sip lattes while studying in the finely appointed media center. In the planning stages: a Certified Nursing Assistant program to be added to the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) curriculum, along with classes in Nutrition and Food Science and Healthcare Science.
No detail has been overlooked in constructing a forward-looking arts building: Bluetooth-equipped classrooms with the capability to play back instructional materials, recording mics in band and chorus rooms for instant feedback, and a dance studio with mirrors, barres, and a “sprung floor” that supports energetic movement with minimal impact to joints and muscles. Quite a change for dancers who have had to utilize a regular classroom for the past four years.
“Our dance students will be able to fully execute their curriculum in style,” says Buford’s Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Chris Fowler.
Buford thespians and musicians will perform in a theatre that features stadium seating and a “cloud system” in the ceiling, reflecting crystal clear sound to every audience member in the 950+ seat theatre.
Athletics have never taken a back seat at Buford and they’ve got the championships to show for all the hard work. Competitors, be on notice: Buford’s athletic facilities just took a step up. Larger athletic facilities from the weight room, training room, locker room, team meeting rooms, and gyms, will allow for more efficient practices and competitions. The indoor track with rubber flooring stretches one-fifth of a mile and will facilitate year-round training for all sports. Two 1,200-seat gyms can accommodate two events at the same time.
Besides the benefit to the students and staff of Buford High School, there’s a domino effect at work here. The old Buford High School facilities will now be the home of Buford Middle School, which has reached maximum capacity. No more busing students to athletic events; they’ll already be there.
The massive overhaul that awaits students on Day One was was brought to fruition by the long-term vision of Buford City commissioners, who saw that the growth of the community and the growth of the high school went hand in hand.
“As school leaders, we are filled with pride by the commitment of our Board of Education and community to the current and future students of Buford High School,” says Principal Allen. “The design and financial commitment to building a world-class school demonstrates the belief that Buford High is the epicenter of the community. The magnificent campus is another example of Buford City Schools establishing excellence in all that we do.”
Mission accomplished. So let the state-of-the-art, high tech, electronic school bell ring! August can’t get here soon enough.
Fast Facts: Buford City Schools
Teacher of the Year: April Graddick
• • Extended tutoring program with BHS
• Parenting classes based on parent survey results
• Kinder-Camp for upcoming kindergarten students
• FY20 National Title I Distinguished School Award
• Metro RESA Kindergarten Finalist for Georgia Young Authors Writing Contest
Teacher of the Year: Betsy Parker
• FY19 Title I Distinguished School
• Eligible for the FY20 National Title I Distinguished School Award
• Governor’s Shape Honor Roll Platinum Award
Buford Middle School
Teacher of the Year: Jackie Corley
• Among the top CCRPI scores in Georgia
• Five-star School Climate Rating
• Niche: #1 in best public middle schools and Georgia teachers, overall A+ grade
• Platinum Award winner, 2018 Single Statewide Accountability System
• Highest Performing Title I Reward School by the Georgia Department of Education
Buford High School
Teacher of the Year: Lynda Fouquette
• Washington Post: #58 America’s Most Challenging High Schools
• US News and World Report: #17 Best High Schools in Georgia
• AP District Honor Roll
• National Merit Finalist – Zane Harkeness
• Niche: #21 in Best High Schools in Georgia
• Georgia All State Reading Chorus: Quinn Conrath (first in school history)
• National Science Fair: Jonathan Gonzalez and Estefanie Hernandez-Medrano
Athletics and Fine Arts:
• State Champions: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball (3rd year in a row), Girls Track (3rd year in a row), Swimming (Caroline Irwin, first ever)
• Final Four: Softball, Volleyball, Boys Lacrosse (first time ever) and Boys Tennis
• Region/Area Champions: Football, Competitive Cheerleading, Volleyball, Basketball (Girls and Boys), Wrestling (Duals and Traditional), Girls Track, Tennis (Girls and Boys)
• Lacrosse Girls – Elite 8, first time ever
• Eddie Martin – 800 wins, Boys Basketball
• Gene Durden – 800 wins, Girls Basketball
• Stuart Chester – 600 wins, Varsity Baseball
• Tony Wolfe – Gwinnett Baseball Hall of Fame
• Band Grand Championship Winners at McEachern Invitational (first time ever)
• State Champion One Act Play – Company
• Literary State Champions (10th straight year)