On February 22nd we hosted the ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of Lockwood High School. Following up on this important event I wanted to give the community an update on the progress of this project, decisions we have made, how construction will impact the use of our campus, and what our next steps are.
The majority of the planning for the new high school is now complete. However we are still fine tuning finishing touches such as materials and colors for interiors, furniture, and signage. The design process was focused on the priorities identified by our community in the pre-bond process: ample classroom space with room to grow, student safety, dedicated auditorium space for fine arts, large indoor and outdoor sports spaces, and a dedicated community space. I really believe we have designed what will be the premiere high school facility in the state while still insuring that the school runs efficiently on a day-to-day basis.
The most notable decision our trustees have made is to proceed with opening the high school next fall with the enrollment of a freshman class. While we always knew that this would be the best scenario for students academically; we needed to wait until our construction manager, architects, and owner’s representative gave us the “go ahead” that the Auxiliary Building would be ready in the fall of 2019; therefore we are also committed to working with current 8th graders who want to attend high school in SD2.
This Auxiliary Building is 26,000 square feet, with ample room to host the whole 9th grade this first year and will then transition into our Career and Technological Education Building with some Athletic/PE areas. There will be two large (2,200+ sq. ft. each) shop areas; one for woods, one for metals as well as multiple CTE classrooms including a lab area for AutoCAD. Additionally this building will host our weight room and a dedicated wrestling area that can also be used for conditioning and adaptive PE classes. Our Auxiliary gymnasium, which will be used for PE, extra curricular practices, dances, and sub-varsity games, is located in this building.
Because we have committed to opening LHS next fall, we are currently advertising for several teaching and support positions. The trustees have been working with the Montana School Boards Association to update our board policies to reflect the inclusion of a high school in our district. We will also adopt student and activity handbooks this spring.