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Richmond opens first new middle school since Reagan was president

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News media was on hand as the ribbon was cut Monday morning, opening the newest school in Richmond. The new Martin Luther King Junior Middle School is the first new school to be opened in Richmond since Ronald Reagan was president.

Richmond Mayor, Dwight C. Jones was on hand to cut the ribbon Monday morning, officially opening the school at 7:37 a.m. The $40 million state-of-the-art facility will hold 800 students.

Next year, the City of Richmond plans to open its first new high school in 40 years, Huguenot High School on Forest Hill Avenue. Under Mayor Jones' administration, two elementary schools have also been opened in Richmond.

In a standing-room-only crowd in the new cafeteria, Mayor Jones spoke on the motivation being placed on the students, saying, “We’re sending a clear message, we are raising expectations of what we want to see from our schools."

The middle school has produced some of the state's worst scores on "standardized tests" in the past several years, and the mayor and other officials think the new school will produce new opportunities for students.