Freshly waxed floors glistened in the newly constructed classrooms at Newport High School on Thursday as students and teachers excitedly entered their new learning environment. What once had been the location of aging portable buildings, accessed by outside walkways, is now beautifully designed learning spaces with improved functionality and security. “We are incredibly impressed with our new classrooms. It will make the task of teaching and learning so much improved for our teachers and students. I am certain that everyone will feel a renewed sense of pride in their school,” said Principal Jon Zagel. “We are so grateful to the community for supporting our schools and helping to make these new classrooms possible.”
The three new classrooms, new band/choir room, and new drafting room are connected directly to the existing school building by brightly lit interior hallways. Five teachers (and their students) have moved into the new area, allowing three other teachers who had been sharing classroom space to settle into their own rooms.
Language arts teacher Nina Fairfield had been located in a portable building. When the portable was removed, she and her students were relocated to a small choir room inside the school’s multipurpose room/cafeteria. She is now at home in one of the three new classrooms. One feature of her room: it is adjacent to a smaller room for yearbook students; a wall of windows between the two rooms will allow her to supervise both spaces.
Moving from classrooms in the main school building, language arts teacher Kirk Tice and special education teacher Cynthia Kress are settled into the other two new classrooms. One feature of Kress’s room is a separate office for staff and three “cubbies” for students to help them focus on learning without external distraction. All three classrooms feature exterior windows to allow maximum outside light, ample cabinetry and workspace, and interactive white board technology.
Teacher Michael Jakobsson’s drafting classroom had been located in a portable building. When the portable was demolished his class moved into the former art room on the west campus of Newport High School. Now, his new drafting classroom is located next to the existing woodshop, with a wall of windows between the two, allowing him to supervise both spaces.
Music teacher John Bringetto had been teaching band and choir in a crowded, low-ceiling room located on the second floor of the high school’s west campus. Now, his spacious band/choir room offers room for an office, a music practice room, and ample storage for instruments, marching band uniforms, and more.
Existing girls and boys restrooms located down the hall from the new classrooms were stripped down and remodeled with new wall tile, floor tiles, and fixtures.
The 9,700-square-foot expansion at Newport High was funded through the $63 million general obligation bond measure approved by voters in May 2011. Funds from the bond can be used only for capital improvements.
Other bond-funded projects completed to date include:
New classroom and commons, and courtyard remodeled at Newport Preparatory Academy.
New football field, baseball field and track at the site of the new Waldport High School.
New playground at Crestview Heights School.
New baseball field at Taft 7-12 High School.
New block retaining wall between football field and parking lot at Toledo Jr./Sr. High.
Energy efficient windows installed on north side of Oceanlake Elementary.
Parking lot and sidewalk expanded at Oceanlake Elementary.
Parking lot lowered to main entry level at Toledo Jr./Sr. High School.
Land improvement at corner of Sturdevant Road and driveway entrance to Toledo Jr./Sr. High.
Softball field upgraded at Newport, Taft, Toledo and Waldport high schools.
Football field upgraded at Newport and Toledo high schools.
Track upgraded at Taft and Toledo high schools.
In addition, classroom expansion projects are well under way at Oceanlake Elementary and Toledo Elementary, as is a locker room/weight room expansion at Toledo Jr./Sr. High.