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New spirit felt in renovated Waynesboro Area Senior High

May 02, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Forty-one months of construction, 90 classrooms, almost 300,000 square feet, $46 million.

The Waynesboro Area School District ceremonially closed the high school renovation and expansion project on Sunday. Approximately 50 people attended an event designed to dedicate the building to the students, staff and community.

Daniel Bierzonski from architectural firm EI Associates presented board member K. Marilyn Smith with a plaque marking the occasion.

"This is a moment that gives me great pride," she said.

When first elected to the school board 15 years ago, Smith said she set a goal to provide a school that would "enhance the academic environment for our students and employees."

"It has been a long process that inconvenienced people during the construction. Despite the trials and tribulations, we have something we can be proud of," she said.

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"Some people fear change, but in this case, change was a good thing. ... The atmosphere of the old building was similar to a warehouse," said Meghan Decker, senior class president.

Student Council President Amelia Rock said the building often resembled a hardware store in the past few years.

"It wasn't unusual to walk into school and see construction workers interspersed among us," she said.

Still, the extra 108,000 square feet make pep rallies, assemblies and even a normal lunch period much more comfortable, Rock said.

"We no longer have students eating in the hallways," Smith said.

The larger school can accommodate growth anticipated in the greater Waynesboro area, said state Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York.

It can serve as a focal point for the community, offering state-of-the-art facilities for events, Smith and Superintendent James Robertson said.

Principal Chris Dennis presented certificates to general contractor Lobar Associates, electrical contractor Oyler Electric and architect EI Associates.

High school social studies teacher Joe Mackley stripped off his suit jacket, dress shirt and tie during the ceremony to reveal a T-shirt with the words "Boro Pride" in oversized letters.

"There's a new spirit here," said Mackley, who has taught for 37 years. "We call this new spirit 'Boro Pride.' This is our high school."

Robertson thanked the community for its support, and school board members and administrators past and present for their vision.

"While this (physical) building will never teach a class or grade a paper, it will provide our students the optimal learning environment," he said.

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