Muriel Williams Batlle High School Takes Last Step Before Summer School

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COLUMBIA - The dedication ceremony for Battle High School was on Sunday. The ceremony was the final event before summer school starts on Monday.

Battle High School is named after Muriel Williams Battle. Muriel Battle's husband, Eliot Battle Sr., attended the ceremony.

"My family has always reached for the top and reached for the best, and the school district reached for the top in this instance and reached for the best, so it's the same as my family," Battle Sr. said.

Battle Sr. said it was a very emotional event for him and he wished he could see Muriel's reaction to the finishing touches of the high school. Muriel is the third generation to have a school named after herself.

"It's the highest moment in my life, I have never felt so up beat in my entire life as I have today," Battle Sr. said.

"Muriel Battle has meant so much in our community in helping us move forward and bringing us together," Battle High School Principal Kim Presko said. "This is just a dedication to her, a monument to her."

Many people spoke at the ceremony like Mayor Bob McDavid, Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill, and multiple members of the Battle family, including Eliot Battle Sr. The ceremony concluded with the ribbon cutting hosted by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Afterwards, students and others gave tours of the new high school.

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher said it took 700 days to construct the school and there was not one accident during the construction. Belcher also said the school was built on time and under budget.

The school was $75 million. It's approximately 300,000 square feet, and the site is 85 acres. Battle can hold between 1,800 and 2,000 students.

Parents of Battle students have given themselves the name Spartan Alliance because they want to be known as a community.

"Today was just the icing on the cake, it was about the start of something, and a long journey," Presko said.

Presko said 465 students will participate in summer school.