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oakley oil rig - Two new public schools named for NASA astronauts will soon begin torise along Pulaski Pike in northwest Huntsville. The cityschool system held a standing-room-only groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the million Jemison High School as well as McNair Junior High, which will share thesame campus. Decatur-born astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison flew in from Chicago for theceremony and challenged the schools' future students to make a difference intheir city, their state, their world. Jemison became the first black woman inspace when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in September 1992. Children areborn with an "innate energy and drive," she said, but it can be dampened byadults. "Adultsstarted telling you what you couldn't do," Jemison told a group of studentsfrom the four schools that will feed into the new campuses: Johnson High,Butler High, Davis Hills Middle and Ed White Middle. "We started lowering yourexpectations of this world that was around you. Ignore them. "Know thatyou can achieve so many things." HuntsvilleCity Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said architectural drawings forJemison High and McNair Junior High are about 15 percent complete, meaningconstruction is still several months away. The plan is to open both schools inAugust 2016. "This is theprologue in what will be many, many pages and many, many chapters ofexceptional history which will be written by the students of Jemison HighSchool," said Wardynski. McNair JuniorHigh is named for Ronald McNair, the second African-American in space and oneof seven astronauts killed in the January 1986 Space Shuttle Challengerexplosion. As Wardynskispoke, about 20 sign-waving protestors stood across Pulaski Pike. MichelleWatkins said the group is upset that Johnson High alumni and supporters werenot consulted about the name or location of the new high school. Many wanted tokeep the J.O. Johnson name. "Our school boardrepresentative, Laurie McCaulley, and our superintendent, Casey Wardynski,never included us," said Watkins, who graduated fromJohnson High in 1983. "North Huntsville is left out of all the planningprocess." Otherprotestors cited a study by an Alabama A M University professor showing elevated levels of airborne fine particulate matter possibly drifting to the school sitefrom a nearby rock quarry. "Would you want your child breathing silica?" onewoman chanted at passing traffic. Danny Shea,the city's natural resources director, has said particulate levels are nohigher along Pulaski Pike than in other parts of Huntsville. The city monitorsair pollution at a number of locations, including Fire Rescue Station 10 nextdoor to the future Jemison High.