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August 09, 2011 9:10 am

Construction means more changes

Written by Don Amend

Westside students will move to new building in 2012

For several years now, school years in Powell have been marked by construction projects, and this 2011-12 is no exception.

The students who will be most affected are those from Westside school, who moved to the old Southside school building last year while their school was demolished to make space for a new building.

The new school is nearing completion now, but won’t be finished until November. The move into the new building will take place during the Christmas break, and when the kids go back after the vacation, it will be to the new school. Included in the move will be a kindergarten class that will spend their first semester at Southside. The students in the class were carefully selected because they will be Westside students after Christmas.

Westside Principal Brent Walker said he is excited about the new school, and the kids will be excited as well.

“Wait until you see the library,” Walker said. “It’s the library of the future.”

Powell Middle School students will find themselves in the middle of a construction project at their school, but Park County School District No. 1 Superintendent Kevin Mitchell said the construction shouldn’t impact their education. A remodel of the former shop area to provide a vocal music room, a classroom and office space began last spring and is scheduled to be ready for the beginning of school. The addition of a multi-purpose room that will, among other things, provide a permanent practice room for the PMS wrestling team is scheduled to be completed in November and construction is underway on an addition that will provide a kitchen and lunchroom and classroom space for family and consumer science classes. The project is scheduled to be completed and ready for the 2012-13 school year.

The middle school project replaces classroom space lost when the old auditorium/natatorium was demolished and will allow the district to abandon the lunchroom in the old high school and the Home Ec Cottage, eliminating the need for students to cross East Third Street during the school day.

At the high school, work has begun on a new stadium, which will feature an eight-lane competition track, artificial turf for football and soccer,  state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems and seating for up to 2,000 fans. In addition, the field house at the site will be remodeled to provide restrooms and a concession area.

The track may be ready in time for the 2012 track season, but will not be complete in time for the football season, and this year’s games will be played at the old stadium next to Powell Middle School.

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