School holds informational presentation
WATKINS GLEN--Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips led a group of more than 20 people through the school’s new construction site Monday, March 24. This was the second part of an informational presentation led by Phillips outlining how the district will implement the closing of their middle school, moving all students to the building on 12th Street.
“We will be moving to a single campus this September,” Phillips said. “That means the current sixth graders who are going into seventh grade will be here, along with the seventh going over to eighth will also be here.”
The meeting began in the auditorium, where Phillips displayed a layout map of the high school building, along with concept pictures of how each of the new rooms will look. He also explained how some of the existing rooms will be repurposed to accommodate student needs, including the moving of the district office into the new addition. Phillips said some of the rooms to be repurposed include expanding the cafeteria and turning the old pool into a new gymnasium. He said the new areas will not be limited exclusively to the junior or senior high school students, but will be open to use by all.
The superintendent said they are working to segregate grades seven, eight and nine from grades 10, 11 and 12 as far as where their classes and lockers are located, but added there will be common areas where the different grade levels can intermingle.
Phillips said the committee is still working on different rules so students and parents know what to expect when they begin the 2014-15 school year. He also said they are hoping to be able to allow community members to visit the building during the summer months so they can get a feeling for the new features before the year starts.
“Some things we are currently discussing are rules, such as no hats and tardiness,” Phillips said. “The committee needs to work on these so this spring and summer we can educate students and parents as to expectations moving forward.”
After the presentation, Phillips, middle school Principal Kai D’Alleva and high school Principal Dave Warren led the group on a tour of the areas under construction. Phillips pointed out areas including the new seventh and eighth grade computer lab, TV studio, library addition and the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) room.
Phillips also showed the group existing doors into the building, saying visitors will have to be buzzed in twice in order to access the building. He said if someone needs to visit the office, they will be able to after the first buzz-in without being able to go into the student learning areas.
Phillips answered many questions about programming, saying they are still working on how they want to address the consolidation of the middle school. He said they may separate events like dances and activities by middle and high school grade levels, make them accessible to all grades seven through 12, or have some mix of the two.