TEMPLETON — A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Templeton Middle School marked the completion of its $2.1 million modernization project on Thursday, Aug. 23.
While the bulk of the work took place over summer vacation, RSH Construction owner Steve Hendricks said the office staff moving its headquarters to the library gave his crews the head start needed to get the job finished before school started.
“The biggest unexpected thing was how cooperative the staff, Andrew Cherry and the school board was to get the project done,” Hendricks said. “The staff of the middle school had to be relocated to the library. They were very cramped, but it gave us the head start we needed. They were very positive. All we do is school work and it’s very rare to find a school that’s so accommodating.”
Principal Kristina Benson said that she, the counselor, dean, site secretary and registrar all moved into the library’s media lab and part of the library itself at spring break.
She said it had been a hard few months of displacement.
“By relocating the office, we kept the relocation pains out of the classroom,” Benson said. “The teachers’ discomfort was from moving out of the old classroom and into the new classroom in about two days. … [They] were excited to get into their new rooms.”
Koski said that since the remodel was really for the students and intended as an upgrade to their learning environment, it was only right that a student cut the ribbon.
Associated Student Body President Sam Oeser took the honors. A short tour of the upgraded school followed.
Classrooms F3 and F4 were completely redone with all new windows, carpet, paint, electrical wiring, student desks, whiteboards, data projector and new sinks and counters. The Apple TVs and iPads seem almost an afterthought.
Rooms H1 and H2 also got a full remodel and are now science labs with new counters, sinks, and a large storage room.
Outside there is a whole new quad area with lunch benches, and a raised “leadership stage” area. The entrance gate was redesigned as well. And since the main office building was remodeled, bringing the actual offices from the rear of the building to the front, it’s now crystal-clear where visitors are supposed to go.
But perhaps the jewel of the remodel is the newly-christened “Willhoit Gym.” It’s got a new wooden parquet-style floor, new baseboards, paint and lighting.
The gym got its new name because Neil Willhoit’s estate donated about $400,000 toward the completion of the gym.
And Carla Willhoit, Neil’s sister-in-law, was a guest of honor at the ribbon cutting. She said she was very pleased with how nice the renovated gym looked.
Koski brought two basketballs to the gym. Former Director of School Support Services Andrew Cherry and Benson each raced from midcourt to make the first basket in Willhoit Gym. Cherry won.
In all, Benson said, it is an excellent upgrade to her school. And moving to the library “was a sacrifice worth making.”
“It’s been very well received by students,” Benson said. “What we’re seeing is students are choosing to hang out in the quad during lunch instead of spread out all over campus.”
If there’s a downside, she said, it’s the little things that aren’t quite finished. For instance, the main office’s air conditioning only kicked on yesterday thanks to a faulty compressor.
Hendricks said that there are a couple of other unfinished items due to long lead times or shipping errors, but that he and his crews should be absolutely done in the next two weeks.
“We’ve been in business 13 years and it was up there as one of our most positive projects,” he said. “Kristine [Benson] was the key.”
For the complete article see the 08-29-2012 issue.
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