UPDATE: For more photos from this morning’s visit, click here.
Members of the Young family joined members of the Young community in helping to solidify the legacy of Jean Childs Young with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the middle school’s massive renovation. Ambassador Andrew Young joined his daughter, Andrea Young, and several other family members to remember his late wife for whom the school is named. The setting could not have been more appropriate: a 500-seat, 45,000 square foot auditorium with a state-of-the-art sound system that is the crown jewel of a year-long, $22 million renovation.
Andrea Young, executive director of the Andrew Young Foundation, gave a moving tribute to her late mother and the importance of carrying on her name in a building committed to her motto: “Every child is a gifted child.”
Other guest speakers included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall, Atlanta Board of Education member Emmett D. Johnson, SRT-1 Executive Director Sharon Davis Williams, Young Principal Thomas E. Kenner, and Travis Alford – senior project manager for H.J. Russell & Company, which oversaw the renovation. The performing arts were on full display during the proceedings. The Mays High School orchestra performed for guests before and after the ceremony. Guests were treated to performances inside the auditorium by the Young Middle School Orchestra, directed by Erik Herndon; the Young Middle School Jazz Band, directed by Robert Joffrey; a dance performance by Young graduate Ashlee Rouse; a vocal selection from the Young Middle School Trio; and a poem by two Young students. Sixth-grader Aja Crosson greeted the audience, while seventh-grader Geramy Perriman introduced Andrea Young and her address.
Later in the day students shared poems, posters and letters written to the late Jean Childs Young in celebration of the day’s events.
Other renovations on the building include a refurbished gymnasium, an amphitheatre and a new football field as well as new track-and-field facilities on the 15-acre campus.