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Community Commentary

June 14, 2000

Elena Hubbell

As we prepare for the close of the 1999-2000 school year, the wheels

are in motion to begin construction of our two new high schools. All

departments are now preparing for construction this fall. Both high

schools will be built in three main phases so that educational programs

continue while construction work goes on.

JOHN BURROUGHS HIGH SCHOOL

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At John Burroughs, the first phase will begin with construction of a

three-story classroom building along Parish Place, replacing some

existing classrooms, the cafeteria, lunch shelter, small gymnasium,

girls' locker room and weight room. Only the large gym, the "Brian Hurst

Gym," will remain when the three story building is completed. Also in

Phase I, the cafeteria/all purpose room and foods lab will be built and

the new gymnasium -- with mezzanine, boys' and girl's locker rooms,

classrooms and swimming pool -- will be completed.

Phase II will involve the renovation of the present two story building

at the entrance to the school. The entrance will be moved to make entry

to the school and administration offices more accessible to students and

parents. In this building, the science labs will be modernized and

updated along with the business and computer labs.

The last phase at Burroughs will be the modernization of both the

performing arts and auditorium buildings. The reconfiguration will

increase space for vocal music, instructional music, and drama. Also in

this phase, the industrial arts and visual arts areas will be updated.

With the loss of the cafeteria at John Burroughs, temporary

preparation areas will be set up so that portable food carts can be used

to take food to the students in the quad area between the present two

story building and the three hundred classroom building.

Food service will also be available near the industrial arts building

and on the front grass area near the auditorium. That area will be fenced

off during construction so students will have more space to eat and move

around. Two weeks ago, the school enacted a successful "dry run" or

demonstration to prepare for the fall when the cafeteria will be

demolished and become a staging area for construction work. While

construction goes on, we will still be in the business of educating

students. The educational process may need some alterations but quality

education will go on as usual.

Both projects are expected to begin construction in the fall.

Preparation work will begin when students leave school this month. At

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