Since spring break, deconstruction of the northwestern end of the campus has begun to make room for a future freshmen wing and additional classrooms. Dr. Fuimaono, assistant principal at BSHS, acts as the head liaison between BSHS and Newkirk Novak, the construction company. Fuimaono was consulted about the progress and future of the construction.
The main goal for reintroducing freshmen back to the high school campus is to fill the divisions made by age groups and hopefully “build a stronger connection between the freshmen and the seniors,” Dr. Fuimaono states. Perhaps by bringing together the freshmen class and upperclassmen there will be a new sense of responsibility and maturity in the lower classes.
This will not be the first time our school will have freshmen on campus. In fact, the Freshman Center wasn’t used in that capacity until 1999. Before that, freshmen attend the BSHS campus and the FC facility was known as Georgeff-Baker Middle School. In 1999, the freshmen were moved off campus to better accommodate the rising school population. They have been off campus ever since, but our new construction will allow for this group to move back.
Construction on our building will be continuous through the next year and a half and is expected to be finished by the Fall of 2023. The class of 2027 will be the first class to pass through the new freshmen wing while. Once the freshmen move to this campus, the freshmen center building will be converted to house career and innovation classes.
Upon the completion of construction, the BSHS campus will add six new PLTW classrooms that will replace the old library and computer labs; a complete freshmen wing to replace the old end of the cafeteria, classrooms to replace the special education building across Ashton Drive, and a new pool for the swim team.
In addition, the student parking lot, bus lanes, and parent pick-up lane will also be reconfigured. Bus lanes will be located closer to Ashton Drive and the parent pick up will wrap completely around the student parking lot to allow for a flow of traffic.
In the long run, these additions and changes will greatly improve our campus, but during the construction phase, there may be some inconveniences. For instance, as you may have noticed, many areas around construction locations have been blocked off from the rest of the school with temporary walls. This has caused a lack of seating in the cafeteria and even restrooms being blocked from use.
Also, Dr. Fuimaono discussed that although most of the construction progress and testing is verified through him, mistakes may still be made that could disrupt the class. For example, on March 11th, just before the 6th hour, the fire alarm system was set off seemingly at random. This has been confirmed to have been caused by workers attempting to cut waterlines that impact the use of ceiling sprinklers needed in case of a fire. Situations like these may reoccur and should be prepared for.
The biggest inconvenience for students and teachers is the schedule change, which eliminated Wildcat Hour. With the new Time and Support schedule and the elimination of purple passes, many students are left wondering what new incentive will be put in place to motivate students to maintain their grades. When asked, Mrs. Carpenter stated that the expectation for students to maintain successful grades is rightly up to them.
Though we have moved away from the WCH schedule, students still have a 30-minute period four days a week to get the extra help they may need. While on the Time and Support schedule, if a student is requested by a teacher to attend their classroom, they must do so. If a student is not requested, then they are free to schedule themselves where they like and with whatever teacher they choose.
Since the implementation of the Time and Support schedule, students and teachers have had to make some adjustments. Though the schedule may not be ideal, as many students miss the freedom and time for friend interaction that WCH allowed for, teachers and students both seem to agree that they are happy to have this time for extra class support.
Overall, new construction at BSHS has forced us to make some changes, and it is possible that there might be some more bumps in the road, but in the end, this progress will make our campus a better place for all students.