Construction begins for new MLK Middle

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond broke ground today on its third new school in the last year. This time, Martin Luther King Middle is getting the star treatment -- a 37 million dollar makeover.

An excavator was in the lesson plan on this day, tearing down old framework, plaster, and molding; ideas of what education used to be for the city's east end.

"This school is going to be something that has not been seen before in this community. It's going to be the jewel of the east end," said Richmond School Superintendent Yvonne Brandon.

The pod classrooms are the first to go- this area is the footprint for a new MLK middle. A school with classrooms focused on the arts and sciences; a school for more than 800 students.

"It's going to be fun when we make out new school and get our better education," said MLK 6th grader Auvelle Johnson.

"Oh wow, exciting. It's going to be a good opportunity for us," said Elizabeth Salinas, MLK 6th grader.

This is the third of four new schools coming to Richmond.

The mayor, city council and the school board broke ground on a new Broad Rock and Oak Grove Elementary earlier in the year.

Huguenot High, the first new high school in 40 years, is next on the city's list.

"It allows these young people to see that we're investing in them. I think it allows them to see that we believe in them. And that the future can be great but we have to provide them tools to compete," said Mayor Dwight Jones.

Students and teacher will be a little cramped in the old building as the new structure is built. It's expected to open in January of 2014.

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