Vina students enjoy ‘very best’ with new science building

There is nothing like having new stuff to play with, and students at Vina High School are finally getting to enjoy their new science building, as it opened its doors to begin the school year.

The old science and band hall was damaged during a tornado in December 2016, and construction on a new building began in July 2018. Two years later, the science and band hall is hosting its first classes.

“It is something we are very excited about,” said VHS Principal Brent Gillespie. “Whenever you walk onto that part of campus, it is one of the first things you notice.”

The new building features the latest technology and upgrades, with the science department on one side of the building and the band room on the other side.

Gillespie said he believes the new building and equipment will help encourage students to have pride in their school. “We want to give these students the best that we can,” Gillespie said. “We hope this is something they take pride in and can enjoy for years to come.”

VHS science teacher Richie Hester said it feels great to finally be in the new building and have classes inside. In addition to the new facilities, Hester said his students are getting to enjoy state-of-the-art equipment and labs through a partnership with Alabama Science in Motion.

ASIM, a state-funded program that provides labs to public high schools, brings Hester individually prepared labs with all of the necessary technology and materials prepared for him and his students.

“It is an amazing program that has really helped us to be able to provide our kids with the very best,” Hester said. “Some of the things they are able to do with these labs are things that otherwise they would not get to do until college.”

Hester said the partnership also allows his students to have access to high-quality equipment that the school would not be able to afford otherwise.

“Especially for small rural schools like us, they really allow our kids to have access to the best of the best,” Hester said. “We would normally never be able to afford to have individual equipment for each student, but we are able to because of them.”

In a recent lab project, students used high-quality microscopes and slides to examine organisms, which is just some of the technology Hester said his students get to use.

“We really appreciate them and the service they provide for our students in the high school through Science in Motion and in the elementary with AMSTI,” Gillespie said. “We are glad we are able to utilize them to make sure our students always receive the very best.”