High school students now have a sparkling addition to their building, complete with a repositioned entrance, new gymnasium, two-story media center and classrooms, and plenty of open space. Paint and decor reflect Rocket pride in blue and orange, and natural light streams through new windows.
Construction recently was completed on the new entrance area of the school, allowing students to enjoy the space for the remaining weeks of the semester.
“It’s amazing. It’s a major upgrade,” said senior Anna Jensen.
The project was made possible through a $30 million bond issue passed in 2015. The bulk of it, $27 million, went toward improvements at the high school, 23 Jean St. SW, including demolition of a 1930s wing and the large addition. The entrance of the school now fronts Division Avenue instead of Jean Street. Other renovations are in progress.
A new competitive-sized gymnasium will host varsity games and allows for more practice space. The auditorium has new theater-style seating for 480. A two-story media center outfitted with updated technology will serve as a hub for learning and a community center. The goal is to open some facilities to the public.
“The district realized the high school would be a hub for the community,” said Principal Kevin Simmons.
“It’s like a whole new high school,” said senior Sadie Mitchell.