"Although it has been a rough year with the inconveniences of construction, I am excited to start this chapter in South Cobb's history," Hosey said. "I feel that the new construction and new campus is long overdue for this community and our students."
The largest construction project at South Cobb was the addition of their 95,566-square-foot ninth-grade center, which will be called the Freshman Transitional Academy.
On Friday, the school hosted a ribbon-cutting to open the new facility. Teachers, administrators and Cobb County School District personnel were in attendance for the ceremony.
"I officially call this building into service," Hosey said as he cut the ribbon.
The academy will be home to instructional classrooms for ninth-graders and special-needs students, a freshman cafeteria and a multi-media center with laptop carts.
"The program that we have outlined will transform the culture of education at South Cobb High School," said Hosey. "Many countless hours of reviewing blueprint plans, furniture meetings and construction meetings have finally yielded a building and unveiled a campus."
Renee Basinger, Freshman Transitional Academy coordinator, said that along with the new facility comes the incorporation of a new teaching method called Highly Effective Teaching.
"I can't tell you how excited our teachers are," she said. "This is a really innovative program."
The teaching model is based on brain-body research, and according to her, very few high schools across the nation have used it.
"It carries on throughout high school ... we are fully infusing this through our core teachers," she said.
The theme of the student's freshman curriculum will be "I can make a difference in my life, my community and in the world," Basinger said.
"It's cross-curriculatory," she said. "Everything goes back to this ... if we create a lesson plan based on a theme, we have learned that kids tend to learn better."
Many of the freshman teachers were not able to get into their classrooms until Friday, but that did not discourage anyone's spirit
Leslie Epperson, a freshman math teacher who is starting her second year at South Cobb, said that the experience of moving into a new school has been exciting for her and that the new building is just the "cherry on the top."
"They say that it's not the church that makes the people, it's the people that make the church ... well, that's kind of what it's like here," she added. "The new building helps the attitude, but I think it's (teachers and students) that make the school."
Hosey said that at his last count, there were approximately 522 students that would be starting at the new academy Monday morning, but he believes that number will rise.
"When they hear about a ninth-grade academy ... it becomes a recruiting tool," he said.
"Our new campus will be a source of pride for our students and their community for years to come," Hosey said. "With such a great physical transformation, it is easier to begin our internal transformation of how we instruct and educate our students," Hosey said. "We can shift our divided focus from construction to undivided on education. My staff and I are very excited about welcoming students back to their new home."