Ringgold Middle's new wing opens Monday - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ringgold Middle's new wing opens Monday

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Catoosa County Teacher of the Year Annie Blanks at Ringgold Middle School Catoosa County Teacher of the Year Annie Blanks at Ringgold Middle School

RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB)- Twenty months after a devastating tornado ripped through Ringgold Middle School, a new wing is set to open Monday, putting all 750 students back under the same roof.

Since April 27, 2011 about one-third of the student body have attended school at first Heritage Middle, then Ringgold High.  Principal Mike Sholl says he is excited to begin the second semester with his 8th grade students and teachers in a shiny new wing.  "It has worked, but it has been difficult," Sholl said. "I'm glad all that is about to end."

The new wing features modern new classrooms, science labs and music rooms.  Annie Blanks, an 8th grade teacher and the county's teacher of the year, said "Learning is not about buildings or material goods, it's about good teachers and motivated students.  But now we have the privilege of being in a beautiful building, and being able to participate in pep rallies, be near the media center and see every member of our great staff every day."

Catoosa County Schools operations director Doug Suits credits the county's residents and elected officials for helping move the project along.  "Isn't it amazing?" he said.  "The way this county came together and rebuilt this school, making it into something we can all be proud of.  The students are going to love this."

Ringgold High principal Sharon Vaughn, whose school has hosted the Middle School's 8th graders in a variety of classrooms, trailers and other temporary quarters, said "You might be surprised, but I'm going to miss those kids.  They became part of our school, they fit right in.  But the good news is, I'll see them back here next year!"

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