After months of loud machinery, broken clocks, glitchy intercoms, and teleporting mounds of dirt we can now confidently inform you that the construction project to rehabilitate the school will be complete by the – end of summer. According to Principal Kyle Freeman: “The timeline for the entire project to be finished is before school starts next year.” This means that for the rest of this school year there will be construction on the school grounds. Students, do not despair! It is all worth it because in the end the school will be better than ever before, plus, the new buildings have heating.
The current buildings, including the ones that have been demolished, are outdated and somewhat defective. Freeman spoke to this: “We are replacing buildings that were built in 1980s to be the high school then. And by all accounts of the people who were on the school board at that time, they were built as well as they could with the money they had—which wasn’t a lot. And they really didn’t imagine that those buildings would last for a long time. And so the buildings are far beyond their life span.” Frankly, this project has been needed for quite a while, and finally our prayers have been answered. While the main High School building is not being remodeled, there have been additions of new CTE (Career and Technical Education) classrooms, a new band room, and the Middle School has been revamped. These projects are coming to a close, with the Middle School, band room, and CTE buildings all now in use.
One of the largest changes, though, is the new school community center. The whole school is perplexed by the new cafeteria-gymnasium situation, but it is temporary and the replacement will be just what we need. Freeman showed his excitement and anticipation for this new center: “One of the things I like about the plan that we chose is that we’ll have a building that is mainly a community center building with a cafeteria and the library and some computer technology and the culinary program.” He went on to talk about the great programs and opportunities that this facility will bring. We are all awaiting the construction of these great new resources and buildings.
Now, putting aside what we are expecting, let’s talk about some of the rumors. Many people are interested in the idea of a mechanics shop, but that is not in the cards for this school, right now. An autoshop is expensive and constantly changing, the school just doesn’t have that in the budget. The new CTE buildings, however, will be versatile, Freeman says: “One of the things that we liked about the CTE designs of these new buildings and also something that we made quite clear to the architects is how flexible we want it. Though they are designed and built with names on them, Art, Shop, and Applied Physics, nothing would stop you from one day saying ‘lets move all this stuff out of the way.’ They have big rolling garage doors on them. We could foreseeably teach a shop class out of one of them if we wanted to get the equipment. ” If students in the future show enough interest it may happen, but right now the school is focusing on technology improvements, which seems like it is a good use of resources, especially for this day and age.
OASIS is, actually, quite a remarkable asset for this school, many are concerned, though, that it will have no place in the school, seeing as its last room was renovated. Do not fear, while there is yet to be a set place for OASIS to homebase there will most certainly be somewhere for them. And until the construction is over, the (now) old Art room will serve as their headquarters. Freeman says that: “There will always be a place for OASIS, but what does that look like? What does that program look like? And what does it need? These are things that have changed over time. I feel confident OASIS will have a place but what it looks like I don’t know yet.”
With new opportunities and heated classrooms on the way, the school is starting to brighten, maybe that’s just the early spring sun… nevertheless, everyone is anticipating some great new facilities and relief from construction sounds. Kyle Freeman shows gratitude to the community: “I appreciate everyone’s patience and this has been a long project and having to deal with inconveniences like clocks that don’t work and bells that are off. A cafeteria that is in the gym. And everyone—staff, student[s] and parent[s]—has dealt with that really well knowing that it is what it is and what we are getting in the end is pretty awesome. This building has gotten smaller before it has gotten bigger. I am really excited to have a place that we can be proud of and something that will last for a long time like the Milton building. Hopefully that is something that we see in this next project.” We all, I believe, would like to show gratitude to Kyle Freeman, his co-workers, and the construction workers for bringing us new and structurally sound buildings.