NEWLAND — Avery County High School held a jubilee to ring in its 50th year on June 7.

The media center was filled with artifacts from school years past. Yearbooks, old photos, newspaper clips, signs and other mementos the school had on hand, as well as some contributions of memorabilia from alumni, were laid out for public viewing.

Retired teachers were on hand to give guided tours of the facility, and some of the school’s clubs were promoting themselves during the event as well.

“Some of our faculty and alums, they brought a lot of their own personal things that you see here,” ACHS Principal Phillip Little said. “We put the call out and really it took about two days for folks to get their things together.”

Little pointed out that the original vision for the school was to have the vast majority of students ride buses to school. One old photograph shows an entire fleet of buses in the parking lot with very few cars in the lot.

The jubilee, which took place hours before the high school’s graduation, marks a notable milestone in the history of the facility not only because of the age, but the facility will look significantly different very soon.

The county recently approved a $20 million renovation project for the high school which will be breaking ground soon. The project will construct an entirely new facade for the building and demolish two of the pods that make up the current structure.

Drawings of the planned construction were on hand and Superintendent Bryan Taylor was on hand to review them and answer questions of passersby.

“We are grateful for the high school putting this event together so folks can come out and reminisce, take a stroll down memory lane,” Taylor said. “It’s a good way for us to share renderings and plans for the new project. We’re very excited about that.”

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