Graves County High School turns 35

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It all started in June of 1983 when the new high school which combined all high schools of Graves County was let for bid. Construction for the new Eagles Nest began only a month later. The school contained 100,000 square ft and 48 classrooms. The physical education complex contained 76,000 square ft, contained 5,000 seats in the gym, and added 8 additional classrooms. It took 2 years for everything to be set in stone.

Open house followed on Sunday, August 12, 1985. Superintendent Billy Watkins said that the school system officials had been worried that open house wouldn’t attract a large crowd since many parents had come when the kids came to get the schedules. But, they did come back.

School officials said they had 1,217 students registered as of the past Friday and were expecting more the week prior to the start of the school year. They originally planned on about 1,00 students but that number quickly increased.

On August 16, 1985, the school opened to the students. Mayfield Messenger wrote, “The first days of school are not the happiest or most exciting time for many youngsters, but that wasn’t the case this morning as students converged for the first time on the new Graves County High School.”

Michelle McKee, a current teacher here of 20 years, was one of the students present that day: ” I went to Symsonia High School before it opened. Everyone was excited for the new opportunities the school gave us and having all new things.”

“It was exciting to meet so many new people,” McKee continued. “It was really just fun. There was a lot of school spirit. I don’t know, just having doors open that were never open before.”

GCHS  has now been open for 35 years and has been home for thousands of students who are welcomed with new opportunities and a chance for success.