MEADOW BRIDGE -- The smallest high school among Fayette County's five has been spared consolidation, at least for now.
And Johnathan Henry, principal of Meadow Bridge High School, says school officials are breathing a sigh of relief.
The state Board of Education voted last week to block Fayette County's school system from closing the small high school.
The state board wanted to amend the county's 10-year facilities plan, which included renovation plans of the county's facilities along with plans to send Meadow Bridge and Fayetteville students to a renovated school at Midland Trail.
The plan now excludes consolidating Meadow Bridge, and the board wants the county to take a year to study other methods to educate students in Meadow Bridge before continuing with consolidation.
Community members worried about long bus rides from the Meadow Bridge area to a consolidated high school.
"There is a sense of relief, but 'What's the plan for our school?' is hanging over our heads," Henry said. "What's the plan for our students now?"
Before coming to Meadow Bridge, Henry was principal at Mount View High School in McDowell County. He said he knew about the threat of consolidation before taking the job.
"There are so many positive things about this school. I wanted to be part of that," he said. "Where I was before, I could have spent 30 years in that position. I don't regret the decision to come here. It's the best place I've been at in my whole life."
The school hosts 255 students, and Henry said the smaller population creates a family-like atmosphere.
Henry said the school has a 91 percent graduation rate and even has held the honor of being designated a success school.
However, Henry said the school isn't perfect. Although he praised teachers for their work, he said there are areas he would like to see improvement. One of those is math scores.