The S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) building at Henryetta high school is hoped to be completed by the time students are out for spring break this year.
That was the projection from school superintendent Dwayne Noble Tuesday.
Speaking to Henryetta Lions Club, Noble said building crews have the outside work finished and are now putting up windows allowing them to move inside.
Henryetta is the smallest school in the Project Lead The Way program that provides instruction in those disciplines. “That puts us up there with the larger schools. “We are seeing the results now. Our eighth grade a week ago was named the two-times state champions in science competition.” That was the second eighth grade class to win that honor.
That is the second building financed through a $9 million series bond issue passed several years ago. When open to students, Noble said there will be sufficient room for six different classes at the same time. “We can have elementary and high school students in it at the same time.”
Touting the S.T.E.M. program, Noble said he expected the new building to help students prepare for future careers. “These kids grew up with the digital age. We want to keep promoting that.”
Those studies are starting in the elementary grades and, Noble said the addition of the new building will allow them to keep learning through high school. “Before the bond issue, our high school only had one microscope,” he pointed out. The new science building will have all modern equipment.
Once the construction is completed, it will be furnished with new computers and student desk and chairs. “We’ve ordered the furniture but we don’t have it now because we don’t have a place to put it.”
He said he would like to see the members of the 2017 graduating class be able to use the building then next year open it to all grade levels. “We will grow the S.T.E.M. program into grads 12 down to pre-K next year. We didn’t do it this year because there is no place to put them.”
In addition to classroom facilities, the building is one large safe room that can house 700 students, teachers and staff members. “We can put everyone in both high school and middle school into the building in about five minutes in the event of a tornado,” he said. On weekends and at night, the building will be available to the public in the event of dangerous weather. “It’s the safety place in town. You can’t put a price tag on that.”