Southeast Valley: Renovations are complete, grade sharing is in fifth year

Sunday, January 27, 2019

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Joe Sutter

When the students came back to Southeast Valley High School in the fall, there were some big changes in progress.

Work was almost done on some major renovations at the school building, including a new entryway, new office and new carpet and air conditioning in the south wing.

Now the major changes are complete, and workers are installing the final touches — new windows throughout the oldest portion of the building.

“Our biggest challenge this year was to try to interrupt learning as little as possible while the construction is going on,” Principal Kerry Ketcham said. “We kept one classroom open so that as windows are being removed or replaced, we can move those classes to another location that is a classroom.”

Crews were on scene during one recent school day removing the old windows from one stairwell. Windows covered in plywood could be seen along the building.

Kolacia Construction workers have been excellent about communicating with the teachers and staff, Ketcham said, so that they could work around each other.

“They’ve been very good about working around labs — no, you can’t change the windows on this day because we have a big lab coming up and we can’t do it in the spare classroom,” Ketcham said. “That’s affected chemistry and our foods lab, so they’ve been willing to work around that.

“Teachers have been really flexible. I haven’t heard any complaints from the kids. It’s a little chilly in the room when the only thing in the window is plywood.”

The new windows will make the building more efficient, and the new entry is designed to make the school more secure.

A new hallway was built, and visitors who are buzzed in through the locked front doors now have to pass through the office before continuing on into the school.

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