When students return to the hallways and classrooms of Winchester High school on September 3rd, they are going to enter a school much different from the one they left in June.
For starters, the library and those classrooms above the library, the auditorium, and the music wing, will be closed off. As advertised, there will be temporary classrooms for all of those that are displaced. There will be eight modular classrooms with the following classes in them; A chorus room, Excel, Learning Center 1 and 2 and special education classrooms. Also in these modulars will be the chorus and midi classes that would normally take place in the music wing. One half of the cafeteria will be a temporary library for the year and the classrooms above the former location of the library will be located in the modular classrooms which will be connected to the school via a covered walkway. The band room will be located in a new temporary space that has been constructed in E wing below the gymnasium.
At the completion of the first year of construction (August 2015) there will be a new cafeteria/kitchen (Dining Commons) where the courtyard used to be; a new media center which will be built above overlooking the Dining Commons on the second floor; a new administration and guidance center (where the music classrooms used to be); a new main entrance area; a remodeled Auditorium; and a new Music classroom suite addition located between the Auditorium and Gymnasium. this new cafeteria. Both All of these additions and renovations will be a connected part of the entire school building.
Areas under construction this year will be off-limits for students, enforced by a wall down the center of the hallways which will limit carry-over noise as well as eliminate the possibility of dust or construction-related materials in the functioning areas of the school. This means that all academic wings will be in use, and though the hallways will be half their non- construction width, the construction should not affect the academic environment of the school. The goal is to ensure there is no interaction between construction and students. Noise and workers will be on one side and students on the other.
Parking was another big question when viewing the construction. What was formerly the teacher’s parking lot will not be in use, instead the old main student parking lot will be used as the teacher’s parking lot. The parking lot on the west side of campus along the tracks is currently holding machinery and trailers for construction. The student parking lot will now be located on Skillings Field, and it is to be an extension of the current parking (across from the Stop and Shop entrance) lot present there. It shouldn’t affect the functioning of the fields themselves, and it will have the same number of parking spots as students had last year. Students will need to obtain a WHS Student Parking Permit in order to park in the Skillings Lot. These permits will be available from the School Resource Officer beginning on the first day of school. Parking spaces in the Skillings Lot will be available on a first come-first served basis.
Sadly, school will be starting on time. The superintendent has sent out an email to confirm that school will not start late. During the year there will be no major changes that students will immediately see. Both construction managers Jim Dowd and Jim Burrows are very excited and cannot wait for the rebuilt auditorium and the new cafeteria both of which will be complete next year. Look for a fact sheet coming out that will contain more detail of what is being done to the school.
For 2014-2015 we welcome in earnest a new principal Mr. Sean Kiley and a project with enormous promise that is already underway. If all goes as planned we may hardly notice the latter.
Owen Kramer Class of 2016
Adam Micciche Class of 2016