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Classes, construction mix at Jefferson High School

September 01, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Students experienced a smooth return to classes Thursday at Jefferson High School despite a $15.3 million renovation under way in the building.

Classes in the Jefferson County Schools system opened Monday, but the opening at Jefferson, one of the state's largest high schools, was delayed until Thursday because renovations at the school are running behind schedule.

The work is running behind schedule because of delays in getting materials like windows and doors, school officials said.

The students' return to the high school went smoothly, Principal Howard Guth said.

At times, Jefferson High School has had as many as 1,600 students.

Workers and students are separated from each other because the workers are concentrating on new sections and students are mostly in the original parts of the school, Guth said.

Students were able to use some new areas, such as a new hallway at the rear of the school, which helped ease crowding conditions, Guth said.

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"It was awesome. It really was. The superintendent was here and he said it was a 'non-event,''' Guth said.

School officials had hoped that certain stages of the project would have been completed by the start of school, said Gail Woods, spokeswoman for the school system.

An example is a new media center, where the library and a computer lab will be, Woods said, adding that the media center might not be finished until October, Woods said.

Although students will not have a library immediately, students will be able to use three other computer labs for research, Woods said.

It was hoped that a new band room would have been completed by the opening of school, but it also could be October before that is completed, Woods said.

The band room will be in a portable classroom, Woods said.

All the renovations at the school are expected to be completed by August 2007.

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