Stevensville Schools held an open house last week to show off the completed $20 million plus renovation project.
One of the biggest changes is the high school entrance, which is now on the east side of the school, along with a newly paved parking lot. Drivers now enter the parking area from the north side of the property. The K-8 entrance has been moved to the south side of the elementary school. These changes were implemented to relieve the dangerous congestion on the west side of the school where students of all ages were dropped off and picked up. The old loop on the west is now for buses, said Supt. Bob Moore, not for student drop off and pick up.
Additional classrooms were built for both the elementary school and the high school. The high school also got a new library and a new vo-ag-tech center. These new classrooms and buildings are now all connected so that students don’t have to go outside to get from one area to another. For example, the elementary school is now connected to the elementary gym, and the gym is now connected to the middle school building.
Even the old classrooms got a facelift, with new carpet, doors and windows. New playground equipment will be installed this summer.
Kent Means of MMW Architects was the principal architect on the project. He said he had been working on this project for five years. He said it was a challenge to tie all the various buildings, of different ages and styles, together in a cohesive way. He said another challenge was that “when you start digging into these old buildings, you discover more issues and they all have to be dealt with.”
“The was a great team of people all working together,” said Means. “The school board and the superintendent were super engaged every step of the way. When the people rise to these challenges together as a group, it helps everything go more smoothly.”
“It’s great to see it being used now,” added Means.
Dan Ashmore, retired shop instructor, said that the new shop class areas were nice. “This is nice having the kids closer together,” he said, rather than being in a building removed from the rest of the school, like the old shop was. “Now it’s more a part of the school.”
Taylor Drummond, shop instructor who took over when Ashmore retired three years ago, said he appreciated how bright and open the new class area is, with new ventilation. “Kids don’t have to breathe those unhealthy fumes anymore.”