School districts around the region are using the summer break to work on major projects that will change what some students experience when they return to classes.
From an $850,000 artificial turf installation in Ross Schools’ sports stadium to adding a second story at a West Chester Twp.’s Butler Tech school to installing new cameras and wiring in Hamilton High School, the projects will affect thousands of students in the area..
Many of Lakota schools’ 16,500 students will start classes in August with renovated “innovation centers” designed to use the latest in digital learning.
“When our elementary students return in the fall, they will have access to 3D printers, virtual reality stations and video production areas in their new innovation hubs, similar to the hubs at our secondary buildings,” said Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota.
“The transformation of our elementary schools’ media centers to innovation hubs include some minor modifications, such as paint, new carpeting and flexible seating that coupled with technology upgrades, will create an environment that will encourages collaboration and creativity.”
The most visible summer-time school project is the construction of a second-floor addition to Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center perched high atop a hill overlooking Interstate 75 in West Chester.
The expansion of the popular school, which was first reported by the Journal-News, is the first of a multi-stage growth plan school officials have said will eventually include college branch classes and private industries.
And the career school’s D. Russel Lee main campus in Fairfield Twp. is also undergoing extensive renovations in its cosmetology lab.
A.J. Huff, spokeswoman for Butler Tech, said “the cosmetology lab at the Fairfield Twp. campus is getting a complete makeover, and the construction (a $20,000 project) at the Middletown Airport hangar is being finalized for the new Aviation Exploration program starting in the fall.”
At Hamilton High School, crews are using the summer months to upgrade security by installing new cameras and recorders, said Mike Holbrook, superintendent of the 10,000-student school system.
Work on the campus, which includes what will be the latest addition to the Butler Tech school system when that organization takes over Hamilton’s old Career Technical Education building starting in August, includes added security to that school’s connecting entrance to the high school.
The new Butler Tech Hamilton campus will also soon be adding a 12,000-pound lift in its automotive lab and renovating and relocating its exercise science lab.
“Hamilton Schools uses the time when students are not in session as an opportunity to perform most construction projects. Many of these projects would impact the academic environment during the school year, therefore the time during summer and winter breaks are used to complete facility upgrades,” he said.
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