Groundbreaking Ceremony at Ernest Ward Middle School
Posted: 08/08/2013
Author: Town of Century

Ernest Ward Middle School Groundbreaking Ceremony

August 8, 2013


After 68 years, the dream finally became reality.  The third and current building known as Ernest Ward Middle School held a groundbreaking ceremony.  Many from the area attended this long sought after day to show their support. 

The ceremony began at 9am on the grounds of the Ernest Ward Middle School campus with opening remarks from Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent.  Mr. Ross recognized Sabrina Owens with EREC, Warden Whitehurst with Century Correctional Institution (represented by Lt. Tony Nolen and Sgt. Hutchins), Mayor McCall of Century, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and many more. 

Mr. Ross stated that the ½ cent sales tax is what has made this project possible.  The new Ernest Ward is being totally funded by this tax and for this, we are grateful for our taxpayers.  “This is no longer a dream, it is now reality.” 

Jeff Bergosh said that Ernest Ward is only 1 out of 16 in the county to receive this.  No money has been received in capital outlay in years.  Mr. Bergosh supported the fact that 100% of the funds have been provided through “us” as taxpayers through the ½ cent sales tax.  This is something that we as a community should be very proud of.

Bill Slayton with the Escambia County School District, District 5 thanked Bill Greenhut with Greenhut Construction Company, Inc. and Sam Marshall Architects for their phenomenal design and dedication to get this project going.  Mr. Slayton also expressed his thanks to the students and staff at Ernest Ward as well as to the citizens of our community for showing their support.

Nancy Perry, Principal at Ernest Ward Middle School said that she is so excited and proud that our children will be able to get their education in a 21st century learning environment.  Ms. Perry thanked Malcolm Thomas, the Escambia County School Board and the Ernest Ward Community for all that they have done.

Mike Marshall with Sam Marshall Architects stated that the existing Ernest Ward building has served its purpose but it is outdated.  He is excited to be a part of the architecture of the new Ernest Ward partly because he is from the area and considers himself to be a “homegrown”.

Bill Greenhut with Greenhut Construction Company said that he is partial to Ernest Ward.  He told the story of how his dad started Greenhut Construction, let’s just say that it involved a small portion of Ernest Ward.  (It may have been the outhouse.)  Mr. Greenhut is confident that construction on the new Ernest Ward will be complete in approximately 16 months. 


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