WARSAW — As upgrades continue on two Warsaw Community School Corporation buildings, hopes are high that things will be ready by the time classes start.
The two buildings are Washington STEM Academy and Edgewood Middle School. Both are receiving significant upgrades, including new classrooms and new STEM lab additions. A third WCS building, Lincoln Elementary School, is being completely rebuilt and will not be ready until well into the 2016-17 school year.
This not to say Washington and Edgewood will be completely finished by August. Rather, Project Supervisor Jim LeMasters said, some finishing touches will likely need to be made, but the plan is for the buildings to be safe for students and school personnel.
Inside Washington, the cafeteria will look completely different. The kitchen has been moved and will be larger than the first one. Skylights discovered above the eating area during initial construction phases will be left uncovered.
The STEM lab now has a roof over it and window installation began today, Monday, July 18. The old office area is empty and the new space is taking shape. This will increase security, as visitors to the building will be funneled through the central office.
Upgrades to Edgewood are a bit more involved. The building was constructed in the 1970s with an open concept in mind. As time progressed, the design was no longer ideal and classrooms and walls were added wherever space would allow. This made for a maze of hallways and classrooms that could only be accessed through other classrooms.
Now, each classroom will have its own door off of the hallway. Collaborative areas will allow additional space between classrooms for students to work together. One classroom area has yet to undergo demolition; this will likely happen after classes have started up, LeMasters noted.
The new science labs are nearly complete. Counters have been installed and gas will be piped to the eighth-grade lab. Across the hall, the STEM lab has walls and a roof. A makerspace will open up into the STEM lab and will include tools for building. A large, garage-type door will allow teachers to supervise.
The space above the dining area, once a wrestling room, is now a mechanical area. The equipment will be up and running soon, LeMasters said.
In both buildings, garage-type doors will be installed to expand learning space between the STEM labs and other rooms.
In the past, classroom temperature was regulated with units under the windows that did not heat or cool evenly. Now, the unit will pipe warm or cool air through a series of ducts for temperature consistency. Dimmable LEDs will light each classroom. The buildings will also incorporate solar panels. A phone app will allow users to track how much electricity is being generated.