Administration navigates construction as school year begins

According+to+Harmas%2C+staff+has+been+instrumental+in+finding+areas+to+temporarily+move+classes+to+in+the+midst+of+construction%2C+and+is+excited+for+the+new+possibilities+the+renovations+bring.+

According to Harmas, staff has been instrumental in finding areas to temporarily move classes to in the midst of construction, and is excited for the new possibilities the renovations bring.

Chloe Sun

Following the decision to begin the school’s multi-part construction project as scheduled at the end of the last school year, current construction focuses on renovating the performing arts area and Dale E. Graham Auditorium. Principal Dr. Harmas says this renovation will make space for better instrument storage and new facilities as the area will be extended forward to the existing sidewalk in front of the school. The auditorium will also be completely stripped and redone.

“It was the part of our building that was in the most disrepair and the one that needed it the most,” he said.

To accommodate this, performing arts classes have temporarily relocated to places like the freshman center and the studio theater.

Harmas said the next phase of construction, set to begin in December, will include remodeling the front office, causing administrator locations to most likely be temporarily scattered around the building. Afterwards, construction is set to begin work on the addition of the school’s second natatorium. This will close the entryway to Door 21 and parking lot one, meaning teachers will park solely in parking lot two and three instead. However, Harmas said he doesn’t foresee having to withdraw any of those parking passes given out to students to accommodate these relocations. Construction is also scheduled for Murray Stadium and the football field, where another outbuilding that will include concessions, locker rooms and meeting rooms will be built. In total, Harmas said he predicts these construction projects to take two years.

According to Harmas, beginning construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic and with the school returning to fully in-person learning was unavoidable.

“It was the right time to move and get it done. There’s never a good time to go through a big construction. So, you just grin and bear it and you’re very, very pleased when it’s done and you get to see your kids use what is produced. We’re doing all this to better serve the students of CHS and the community.”

Harmas also said multiple projects were started now as opposed to staggering them throughout the year to be cost-effective and avoid prolonged distracting noise levels. 

Senior Isabella Wan, a section leader and violinist for the school’s Camerata orchestra, said,

“I think the construction on the performing arts center will result in something really cool and new. However, I am pretty upset that it is happening right now because it is my senior year and I can’t be in the normal orchestra room. It just isn’t the same being in the studio theater. I am optimistic about what they are building, I just wish they could’ve waited at least a year since everything has been crazy with COVID-19 already.” By Chloe Sun.

Read more about CHS plan here

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