Renovations underway at Windsor High School
June 6, 2017
Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District
For more information about the school district, schools and district calendar, visit weldre4.org.
Dick Huwa, the president of RLH Engineering, had two children pass through Windsor High School and has seen part of the school's growth since the late 1990s.
He remembers the class sizes jumping in the two years between his children's graduations from Windsor High School, from when his son David graduated in 1998 with a class of about 130 to his son Jerod's graduation in 2001 with a class of 180. He has also worked with the district through other bond projects.
"I've been there when Windsor High School was growing from 500 to what it is now," Huwa said.
Now he is working to renovate the high school, which will include a new Innovation Center, security improvements and larger windows. The district is planning a new high school in Severance as well, so the goal of the project is not to add space or increase the school's capacity.
“The district is planning a new high school in Severance as well, so the goal of the project is not to add space or increase the school’s capacity.”
"Our school board has been really committed to not having the enormous class sizes," Huwa said.
About 10 percent of the project is slated for completion by the time school starts, Huwa said. That will be Aug. 9 – earlier than in past years – to allow the district a longer construction summer next year.
Students will already see some changes when they return. About 100 parking spots will be added in a gravel lot, located near current parking, and large modular buildings will be going up beside the high school near the track.
As Huwa's teams renovate classrooms in the academic wing during the summer and through the school year, students will be rotated out to those 4,000-square-foot modulars, which are large enough to fit four classes at a time.
A 1,000-square-foot greenhouse, slightly bigger than a regular classroom and a bit more rectangular, should also be completed by this fall. Huwa said the vocational agriculture students will be able to use the greenhouse, and students who attend the new high school after it is built will also be able to utilize the space.
The Innovation Center, which Huwa said will include updated equipment for hands-on classes, will be built closer to the main high school than the building that currently houses the Fireside Room and cafeteria. The closeness of the building, Huwa said, will help increase students' safety as they will be able to access other sections of the high school without going outside.
Another piece of this summer's work will be the completion of a new track and bringing the bleachers up to ADA compliance. New asphalt will by laid down with a rubber surface on top of it, which Huwa said will be a large improvement on the current track's hard surface.
Because next summer is a longer summer for the school, Huwa said a lot of the construction will be happening then, as well as throughout this upcoming school year. While students are in school, classes will be rotated out to the modular buildings to allow construction crews access to the rooms. Once classes have been renovated, students will be moved back into the newly renovated classrooms.
The work at Windsor High School as well as the new high school in Severance is the result of a $104.8 million bond issue approved last November by voters in Windsor and Severance. About $55 million is scheduled for the second high school northeast of Severance Middle School, and about $30 million is slated for the renovations and improvements at Windsor High School.
The bond issue was approved by a 58-42 margin in the November election.