Moving Days

They’ve been given maps to help them get around.

They have new lockers.

The rooms are brand new.

When Eisenhower High School students return to school on Wednesday, they’ll arrive at the same building, but it will be a new school.

The construction at the soon-to-be K-12 facility has progressed to Phase II. High school students started moving Friday to new rooms that will house the middle school in the future. They will finish the school year in that section while the existing high school space undergoes renovation.

“The kids are excited to be in a new area,” Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said.

Technically, the space was part of the old school. “In this wing of the building, it was pretty much a gut job,” Warren County School District Clerk of the Works Dennis LaMonica said.

Students were moving their gear, shifting from an old set of nine-inch lockers to new 12-inch lockers, and generally getting a first look around on Friday.

“This is so cool,” ninth-grader Hana Blasco said. “It’s so high-tech. Everything’s bright. It kinda makes me excited for school again.”

“I remember coming here, seven years old, watching basketball games,” she said. “I’d get lost. Now it’s renovated and I’m older and I feel like I’m going to get lost again.”

“It looks really good,” junior Tyler Voty said. “The workers did a really good job with it.”

“I’m looking forward to the move,” he said. “I feel like these classrooms are going to be better than the old ones.”

Voty will be among the first group of seniors to spend a full year in the renovated building.

“I’m looking forward to the finished product,” he said. “It looks like an entirely different school.”

“I think it’s exciting, but I’m sad that I won’t be here for the end of it,” senior Jessica McCool said. “It’s very modern.”

“It’s exciting,” senior Brooke Stanton said. “We get to see things that some of the kids didn’t get to see and we get to be involved in the move.”

Having a major renovation project in the middle of their senior year has been inconvenient. “Absolutely,” Stanton said, “but it’s definitely worth it in the end.”

“We’re thankful that we were given the opportunity to have our school renovated,” McCool said.

“… not closed,” Stanton said. “The school district will not regret it.”

“I’m very happy I had the chance to come back,” Principal Kelly Martin said. “I’m thrilled to death.”

“Custodial, maintenance, and technology departments will be working all weekend and Monday and Tuesday to move furniture, computers, and relocate teaching supplies,” Nelson said.

Teachers will be able to spend some time in their new classrooms Monday during a professional development day.

Middle-school students will remain in their temporary classrooms in the auditorium for the remainder of the school year. The music department will also remain in its current location.

The K-12 is expected to be completed and ready to open in August for the 2014-2015 school year.

Phase III of the project is scheduled for the summer.

Work at the kindergarten through fifth-grade area, with three classrooms per grade level, is not moving in phases because there are no students there to work around. Construction there is “going great guns,” according to Director of Building and Grounds Services Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht.

Sugar Grove and Russell elementary schools will close next school year and all northern attendance area students will attend Eisenhower.