Some students in Athens will be starting back to school soon on a new campus.
Folks in Athens marched on Tuesday from the old Athens Bible School to the new one for a ribbon-cutting in front of the new facility.
WAAY 31 was there for the celebration and learned how special it was for those who have been with the school for years.
In just two days, students will walk into brand new classrooms. Some folks we spoke with say many old traditions will still live on in the new building.
When people think of Athens Bible School, many often think of Bill Murrell. He's been a coach at the school for nearly 50 years and says he put his children and grandchildren through the same school.
“I am now coaching grandchildren of people who were on the first and second teams that I ever had here,“ he said. "There were opportunities to go elsewhere, but the family here, the parents, the kids, the administration, the teachers, it’s just a fantastic place.”
Murrell believes the place has only gotten better with the opening of the new facility, and he’s not the only one who thinks so.
“It’s just what the children deserve. They’ve made it all these years because of the wonderful teachers and examples. Now, they have the great facility to go with it,” Jane Britnell, a grandparent, said.
Britnell is a former Athens Bible School teacher and says her own children and grandchildren also went to or are still going to school there. One of the biggest reasons, she says, is safety.
Britnell believes if there were more schools like Athens Bible School, we wouldn’t hear of so many tragedies.
“That would solve a lot of the problems that are going on, the mass shootings, the other things,” she said.
The folks in charge of safety at the new school agree.
“We need more of this throughout the state of Alabama. I wish we had them everywhere,” Stanley McNatt, a school resource officer, said.
Parents and grandparents said they’re proud to know the new facility will still have bible classes and chapel for the students, saying faith is most important.
“Putting God first before anything,” McNatt said.
Students at Athens Bible School will start back on Thursday.
“We had 76 great years at the other building, and with this new facility, we think we can have 76 more,” Murrell said.