Plans continue for high school construction, renovation

The High school goes under construction to alleviate crowding issues across the district.

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Neely

New school!: This is the digital version of what the new high school will look like. The B building is being completely redone.

Julia Pitts, Willow Yingling, Cameron Havens and David Rudy

Photo courtesy of Andrew Neely
Plans presented for view of the building approaching from sixth avenue.

Throughout the recent school year, many ideas have been discussed to remodel and renovate the high school buildings. During the month of April and May school leaders and board members presented plans to community and staff members.

The decision to build a new building came about for several reasons.

“There were a couple of factors. First off, the current B building is about 90 years old, so if you think about that in terms of longevity, we have gotten a lot from it. Also, it has limitations, the classrooms are smaller, and because of the small classrooms it is hard for teachers to do group work. Another reason is that the elementary schools are going through overcrowding issues. So we are planning for ninth grade to go to the high school while this building (AAJHS) turns into a middle school. Because of the ninth grade move, we are moving the sixth graders to the junior high building to alleviate some of the overcrowding issues in the elementary schools. These two issues were the main spark for this idea,” high school head principal Andrew Neely said.

The actual groundbreaking for the school will be next February.  The building should be concluded in the summer of 2020.  The students will then be able to go inside the new B building, have a larger band room, be able to use exercise machines such as spinning bikes and be able to experience all the building has to offer.  

The two buildings will be connected by a bridge. The new bridge will be wider than the current one, allowing more students to cross between schools while switching classes. In addition to a larger bridge, the classrooms will be significantly substantial compared to the current classroom sizes.  

With the new building comes plans for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM, focused classes to help students get a job within those fields. The school hopes with more stem focused courses more students will be able to advance one step closer to success.
“We will definitely be adding in multiple tech ed classrooms to the new building. That’s one piece that we are currently missing. The one thing that we are seeing is that we will have a lot more opportunity for co-curricular programs to work together, like the math and science classrooms. We are looking to add a greenhouse along with a rooftop garden which will allow us to work with botany and our biology classrooms. We also will have outside space for people to do science work in those areas. A lot of enhancements, which will help change the way education will be impacting our students’ lives,” Neely said.  

Plans for what the exterior of the music suite will look like in the new B building.