It is week one for the new superintendent in Hoven, and his new job has handed him a big challenge.
The district is working to rebuild after a fire destroyed its high school. Pat Jones interviewed for the Hoven superintendent job in the district’s high school building the week leading up to Memorial Day.
"I received a phone call from the school board president on Monday of Memorial Day offering me the position and then he asked me the question, 'Did you hear what happened?'" Jones said.
Jones hadn't heard but says it didn't scare him away from the position.
Many in the community are thankful for the school board’s decision to rebuild.
"I was not doubting at all that they were going to rebuild. I was just hoping to find out in time if I was going to be able to be in that building or not," senior Abby Simon said.
The old building can't come down for a couple months. There isn't a sure timeline yet for the new building’s construction.
When it starts, Jones has experience. He was involved in a large building project while working at the Lennox School. He was also on Lead's city council where he gained exposure to construction projects.
"Over the years I've dabbled in all these kinds of things and feel pretty well prepared to work with the board and community to get them through this," Jones said.
The Simon family in Hoven is happy to hear that. With kids in high school down to elementary, they're anxious to see several more graduates from the district.
"Deep down I knew Hoven would probably rebuild and I'm glad that's what they're aiming for," Fran Simon said.
The new superintendent says he's ready for the challenge.
The school board will decide in a week what to use as a temporary facility next year. It's toured the vacant hospital in town and considered modular units.