Rutherford Unveils $10 Million Half-Cent Tax Renovations

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SPRINGFIELD-- Several months and $10 million later, Bay County School District officials unveiled a newly renovated Rutherford High School Tuesday for the first day back to school.

Rutherford welcomed its students back Tuesday, but it also welcomed a new cafeteria, art wing and other entirely renovated buildings.

It was the first time many students walked into their new cafeteria.

While the cafeteria got a big makeover, Rutherford officials say the renovations also included major changes that you can't see.

The school has an entirely new HVAC system that officials say will save the school, district and tax payers money.

The project is one of the biggest in district history, funded by the district's half-cent sales tax.

"Everyone in bay county knows that we have excellent students, but now you can see it when you walk in," Rutherford Principal Coy Pilson said. "Even in the front, the landscaping, the parking lot. We provide a world-class education for our students, now our school looks like a world-class facility."

"If I can sit in my own cafeteria and be welcomed by the familiar faces of the faculty and other students who have been my friends for four years now, I would love to have lunch in this cafeteria," Rutherford Senior Alyssa Hottinger said.

District officials say crews still need to work on some finishing touches to the school.