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July 17, 2014

Duncan High renovation continues with portions to be completed by start of school

DUNCAN — By the time the 2014-15 school year begins, 15 classrooms and all offices should be completed at the Duncan High School.

On Wednesday, DHS Principal Justin Smith provided Rotary Club members with an update on the high school renovation process, which is the result of a $19 million bond issue approved by Duncan voters in February 2012. Smith said Phase 1 of the construction project is moving quickly toward completion and portions of Phase 2 are well underway.

“We’re excited about the updates to the high school,” Smith said. “We’ve already completed the bus lane. Anyone who’s driven by the high school has seen the new entrance is almost complete. There’s still multiple entrances to the high school we’ll have to adapt to.”

Phase 1 focused on the creation of a new entrance to the school, the construction of a new cafeteria and library wing, and building new classrooms. A portion of Phase 2 will be completed by the beginning of the school year, including five classrooms.

Because the offices are under construction, the high school administration is being housed at EDGE Academy through the summer months. By the beginning of the school year, the administrators and office staff will return to the high school campus. This week, carpeting was added to the offices.

In addition to 15 classrooms and the offices, the cafeteria is expected to be completed within the first month of school.

The cafeteria will hold 300 students. Smith said about 400 to 450 students eat lunch on campus, but they don’t all eat lunch during the same lunch period.

In fact, this year’s freshmen will have a different lunch period than the upperclassmen as a way to better keep freshmen on campus during lunch. This year’s freshmen class is expected to have about 275 students.

Starting at the beginning of the school year, freshmen will attend class in the West Building on the high school campus. The West Building, which will soon be referred to as the Ninth Grade Center, will provide more focused attention on freshmen to help them be more successful in high school.

In December, the West Building will also undergo renovations as part of the bond issue.

“We want to make sure we’re doing the best for those guys,” Smith said. “We will be giving them more instruction on things that will be able to help them.”

Smith said classrooms at the main campus will be completed throughout the school year.

He said the project is on schedule, and he’s happy with how well the renovation at the high school has gone. Smith said the construction workers have be diligent in ensuring the safety of students and staff members throughout the process.

This care and consideration will continue into the new school year, he said.

“Safety and security of our students are at the forefront,” Smith said.

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