of the Sentinel Konah
The design is approved, the builders have been selected, and now all we are waiting for is the ground to thaw before the highly anticipated remodel will commence.
The architecture firm of MMW Architects has been working closely with a team of SHS faculty, staff and administrators to design the much needed updates as listed by the Smart Schools 2020 Bond Initiative.
Led by architect Don MacArthur, the team has created a new school design which will include a new performing arts center, a new STEM center, common areas for students, as well as a new roof, upgraded heating and cooling, security, technology, elevator and more.
Of the approximate $22.5 allocated to Sentinel of the bond, $14.5 million will go toward deferred maintenance alone.
Engineering teacher Ben Cummins said he is most looking forward to the new location of the STEM center, which will be located where the pickleball courts are currently. Students will be able to walk by and look through new glass walls and see the engagement of students in their particular projects.
“I also like the proximity to other STEM related classes such as woods, computer science, auto and business. The makerspace, along with the other equipment will be a huge addition that will benefit all students, not just STEM students,” Cummins said.
For those unfamiliar with the term makerspace, the term refers to a collaborative work space, in this case to be housed in the new STEM center, which will allow students and teachers to provide hands on learning. Within the space, students and teachers, and in the future possibly community members, will be able to work with 3D printers, 3D modeling, coding, robotics, automotive demonstrations, woodworking and more.
In close proximity to the new STEM center, the automotive building, currently building 400, will see vast improvements as well.
Automotive teacher Dave Burtch said, “The upgrades that we will see in the 400 building will truly make this building safer for the students.” Changes to the automotive area include a new addition of a vehicle exhaust system, which will allow vehicles to run inside the building during diagnostic labs. In addition, a new water treatment system will be installed in order to keep pollution out of the water drains when vehicles are brought inside. This, along with a new roof, new garage doors, and possibly additional hoists to lift vehicles, will bring the automotive center up to industry standards.
“We will have the ability to have a vehicle inside the classroom, which means we will have a large overhead door, exhaust system, and air system in the classroom so lectures and presentations can be made using a car in the classroom environment,” Burtch said. Essentially, the 400 building, which was originally built to be a temporary structure, will be brought up to code. “It will also get a new HVAC system and electrical systems, which will make it more economical,” Burtch said. On the other side of campus, the theater will also undergo a transformation. A new Performing Arts Center will bring together the theater, band, choir and orchestra programs to a new space located next to the theater. The computer labs currently in room 104 and 105 will become the new choir room, and a new band/ orchestra room will be built adjacent to the existing spaces. Drama teacher Katie Cassidy is excited to have the music teachers closer to the theater. “When Ms. Franks and I work on a musical together, it will be so much easier to meet and discuss things,” Cassidy said. Changes need to be made in the theater as well. “Sentinel needs an overhaul in the theater. We need a larger space and equipment that is not out of date. I need a classroom that is accessible to all students. Currently my classroom is upstairs with no elevator access,” Cassidy said. However, she is concerned not all of these upgrades will happen, as not much is being changed in the theater itself. “As of right now, they may be fixing some safety concerns regarding the rigging above the stage. Nothing is being done to my classroom,” she said. “It will, however, benefit the students to have the arts classes centrally located to the theater.”