Good Hope Middle School debuts new gym, library and office space

Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, Good Hope Middle School Assistant Principal Lesley Hembree, Cullman County School Board members and others participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. (Tiffany McKoy)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday for the new Good Hope Middle School gymnasium, library and office space. Ground was broken on the project 18 months ago, and the facilities are ready in time to welcome students for the 2023-2024 school year.

According to school officials, one of the significant advantages to having the new gym is the relief it provides to students, who previously shared the gym down the hill. This arrangement often caused scheduling conflicts and limited both schools’ sports activities. With the new facility, both middle school and high school students can now enjoy ample gym space, allowing them to fully participate in various sports.

Cullman County School Board Member Kerry Neighbors, a Good Hope High School alumni, couldn’t be happier about the new gym. “We’re so happy to have this. It’s been long overdue. I thank Dr. Barnette and the board for allowing this to happen,” he said.

“Originally, when they were talking about adding a gym to this school; it was just going to be a practice gym like you said some of the elementary gyms, but our board and I really came together and we saved pennies, and we were able to add bleachers on both sides. We also expanded the walls. We’ve added bleachers and made it a competitive gym, especially for a middle school,” explained Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette

In addition to the new gymnasium, a new library and office space were added to the school. Barnette highlighted the careful planning that went into ensuring the school’s security with the new office. The new office section allows visitors to enter through a specific path that prevents access to students, adding an extra layer of protection.

Barnette said he is excited about the new library and hopes the kids will enjoy the new space as well. “In today’s world, the library is so much more than just going in and checking out a book. It also gives the students other meeting space as well,” he said.