'A lot of things happening' at Waynesboro's high school

October 30, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Activity began earlier than usual last Wednesday at Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The first concrete truck came down the street at 2 a.m. and was followed by a series of more at 45-minute intervals.

Twelve hours later, crews were troweling the concrete that formed the base of the floor for the school's new, three-court gymnasium. Its roof should be completed in two to three weeks.

"It's going to be a real source of community pride," said Caroline Dean, the Waynesboro Area School District's business administrator.

Not far from the gym is the stage also built as part of a $46 million renovation and expansion project. The 108,000-square-foot addition will convert the high school into four levels.


The stage overlooks a bare, muddy expanse that will be a 1,600-seat auditorium by the effort's completion, estimated to be in April 2009. The seats, stage, plumbing, electrical system and duct work have been torn out of the old auditorium, which will be converted into a cafeteria.

Crews have completed the geothermal well field, which will heat and cool the building by looping water underground.

"You see a lot of things happening here now," said Jeff Adams, maintenance supervisor.

The school's student council has plans to paint a temporary cafeteria wall this week and next.

Inspirational quotes and slogans from the likes of Oscar Wilde and Bill Gates will reinforce the Character Counts! program, according to Chad Reichard, a student council member and student representative for the school board.

The purpose is "also to kind of dress the school up a bit," said Chad, a junior.

Character Counts! is designed to teach "pillar" values like trustworthiness, responsibility and fairness.

"The guidance department has provided the student council with quotes they feel illustrate the points," Chad said. Other quotes were copied from the Internet or selected from student planners, he said.

Dean said recent student quotes published in the high school newspaper were overwhelmingly favorable of the construction project.

Feelings might be split between upperclassmen and underclassmen, since the older students will graduate before the project's end.

Seniors Dakota Barnes and Allie Fridinger said the school-day construction is both annoying and distracting.

"I think last year was worse, though, because they were doing a lot of drilling," said Dakota, 18, of South Mountain, Pa.

She said she might appreciate the efforts more if she was just starting her high school career.

Allie, 17, of Waynesboro, and Dakota walk the length of East Second Street to get to their vehicles at the end of the school day.

"I think it's a large parking inconvenience," Dakota said.

Danielle Miller, who plays softball, basketball and volleyball, said she is mostly excited about the new gym.

"I appreciate what they're doing," said Danielle, a 14-year-old freshman from Waynesboro.

Peyton Campbell, 14, of Waynesboro, said he can't hear the construction noises when in class. The freshman spoke favorably of the project.

"It's just helping the school," he said.

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