The Duncan Banner

June 25, 2013

Projects branch out with new development

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Duncan has fewer trees than when it began the day Monday, but the loss of trees was necessary for the progress of two sizable construction projects in the community.

Work began Monday at the Duncan High School and at the new site of the Stephens County Youth Shelter. By Monday afternoon, bulldozers and other equipment were used to begin removing some trees from both properties.

The high school project will feature a renovation of the main building, which was made possible through a bond issue approved by Duncan voters Feb. 14, 2012.

“We’re really excited,” DHS Principal Justin Smith said about the beginning of construction at the high school. “It’s looking good. We’ve got some fences up out back for safety. We’re starting in the front.”

The youth shelter project includes construction of a new building, made possible through various donations and fundraisers.

The high school construction has been 16-months in the making. Months have been dedicated to planning and designing the layout of the new high school, led by PBK Architect and CMS Willowbrook, the construction company.

For the youth shelter project, fundraising began in January 2010. And nearly 3 1/2 years later, the construction began with a few trees being knocked down.

Both projects have had ground-breaking ceremonies in the last two weeks. The high school’s groundbreaking was June 10, while the youth shelter’s groundbreaking was June 18.

When the projects are done, there will be an impact made on Duncan youth.

The youth shelter will retire the house that has been in use since 1979. The new structure, which will look and feel like a home, will have more room and enhanced security for children. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The high school’s construction will add more classrooms, change the facade of the high school and will have increased security. Smith said there will be some changes within the building, as teachers are students are relocated to other areas in the building to allow for the project to progress. The high school’s finish date is set for January 2014.

He said the teachers are in their new classrooms, and he expects the high school’s project to go smoothly.

“The buses will have to pick them (the students) up in front,” Smith said. “They’re going to make a cut out for the buses.”