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Friday, May 6, 2016

Viola School District to build new high school

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photo by Emily McIntosh
Beep, beep, beep; and tap, tap, tap are among a few of the rumbling and clanging sounds that will come from the hill that Viola School sits on. This coming school year brings building changes to Viola High School. Because of the increased millage back in February the school is going to have a new high school.

Superintendent John May said construction will begin on the first phase of the building project during the upcoming school year.

According to the floor plans, the first phase of the building project will have nine rooms plus office space. There will be a business lab, home economics classroom, a project lab, a special education classroom, one full science lab and two science classrooms in this part of construction.

When the first phase is done, the second phase will be underway. During the second phase, construction crews will tear down the current Head Start building and fine arts and parent center building to make room for the new construction. The second phase of the building project will attach to the first to add general classrooms.

May said it will take about two years to complete both phases.

After the second phase is complete, a new band building and physical education building is going to be built.

"There's still discussion on the band part," May said.

The school will either have the new band building as a separate structure, attached to the gym or attached to the new physical education building.

May said a physical education building is needed due to increased physical education requirements. Because of these requirements the school found that there was not enough time to split the gym between high school and elementary.

The new physical education building might be reinforced so that it can act as a community storm shelter. "We're still in the process of getting funding from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)," May said.

The school will possibly have to add more parking along with the building project. But, May said, "When we get everything built, we might be fine on parking."

There are various possibilities for the remaining high school buildings. Head Start, the fine arts and parent center will need a new home. May said there is also the possibility of turning the old building into an alternative school so the school will not have to ship alternative students to Glencoe.

The cost of education does not come cheap, of course, but it's well worth it. The estimated cost of the project is $5 million with the state paying for 42 percent.

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