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VCHS End of Construction Zone

VCHS End of Construction Zone

By Jayme Ginda-Baxter

Principal, VCHS

 

Very few people can drive by the Valley Central High School and Middle School complex without noticing the drastic difference in the view.  As a part of the Energy, Abatement, and Technology Capital Project that was passed by district voters in the winter of 2015, Valley Central High School underwent two years of reconstruction both on the exterior and the interior of the building. The VCHS portion of the Capital Project took place in two phases with the end result being a massive overhaul of our heating and air systems, new ceilings, new windows, new student bathrooms, new locker rooms, new bleachers, new interior and exterior doors, along with many other projects that had not been addressed since the building’s inception in 1960. 

 

As many of us know, from our personal experiences with construction projects in our own homes, there is a story behind it all. From the planning stages through implementation to completion, the amount of coordination, teamwork, and flexibility from all stakeholders that is needed to complete such a massive project is an enormous task. Proudly, I can say that I watched all of these needed pieces come together over the last few years. There were so many continually working parts, from scheduling to color choices to meeting deadlines. I cannot say enough about how incredible the Valley Central High School team was during this process to ensure projects happened in the safest and most efficient way possible. This included the continual meetings with contractors, building and grounds, high school administration, central office, board members, and the project managers to ensure safe and quality work. I am proud of our students for being flexible when there were no ceilings in the hallways or when they needed to adjust to no locker rooms for a few additional weeks. Additionally, the high school staff supported each other by packing up their rooms, relocating and simply tolerating the construction zone aesthetics of the moment. 

 

Truly the list is endless in terms of the trials and challenges that everyone endured, however, the end result has been a positive, safe and clean environment that is inviting to all. The research shows that a positive school climate is based upon fundamental elements that include safety, engagement, connectedness, and support to name a few. The first of these elements is safety and rightly so; students need to feel physically and mentally safe in their environment in order to thrive and a portion of this is due to having a clean, updated physical environment to walk into each and every day. 

 

Thank you to the taxpayers for giving all of the students at Valley Central High School this positive start each day when they walk into the high school. As someone who has been a part of this community for over 40 years, it still amazes me how Valley Central’s stakeholders, both young and old, come together to care for what matters most - our children. 

 

Our work is never complete with some of our buildings in the district reaching close to 100 years old. The district continues to plan for improvements through additional capital projects that will continue to support both positive and safe learning environments for all of our students and the community-at-large that utilizes our facilities.