New wing ready for students

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Over Thanksgiving break, high school and leadership academy classrooms will move into the state-of-the-art facilities in the newly completed wing of the seventh- through 12th-grade campus.

“Students who have seen even a small part of the new facilities are excited,” Brian Ewert, school superintendent, said as he conducted a tour of the wing. “There are a lot of differences. For example, teachers won’t be assigned to a classroom. Instead, they will have a desk and storage space in an area along with others teaching the same subject.”

The entrance is on the north end of the campus. The doors lead into a common area equipped with tables, chairs and sofas. One wall of the area is metal, so teachers can use magnets to put up displays or the magnets can be used to display student art.

Ewert led the tour to an area that includes a kitchen, washers and driers, plus an area that resembles a one-bedroom apartment. The superintendent explained these facilities will be used to teach life skills to students in the transition program.

There are a multitude of windows and the classrooms and halls are brightly lit. Ewert noted the students selected the colors for the walls and for the classrooms.

Facilities in the wing include an art room with special desks that lift and lock at angles to become easels. Another area is a ceramic classroom, complete with kilns.

The tour visited a couple areas of Englewood High School that were completely renovated, including the band room, the choir room and the auditorium.

“The new area is amazing,” said Paul Webster, band director. “We have a lot of room and it is so much better than the old band room.”

The tour included a visit to the area equipped with the latest stoves, ovens and other cooking facilities where, starting in January, the district will offer culinary arts classes.

“We will offer second semester classes in nutrition and cooking using these facilities,” Ewert said. “Starting when school resumes in the fall of 2014, we will offer a full college-preparatory hospitality and culinary arts program.”

The superintendent said the move is temporary, because the wing that will be occupied by the high school and leadership academy classes will become the middle school when the project is completed in December 2014.

The move was necessary so crews can begin phase two of the project, which includes demolition of the remaining high school buildings to make way for construction of the new high school.

On Nov. 16, EHS celebrated its 100th anniversary and the activities included tours of the new facilities.

Roland Hartley, a 1968 EHS graduate, toured the new wing said the new facilities are amazing.

“I think that is a great asset to EHS,” he said. “I think the kids will look forward to coming to that new, modern facility every day.”

Diane Seymour, a 1978 graduate, had similar comments.

“The new facility is very different, very modern,” she said. “I am proud Englewood School District took the steps necessary to meet the needs of today’s students.”