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Delphi Community High School to undergo renovations

Jordan Ladd, staff writer

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This summer, Delphi Community High School is taking on a big project. The school is planning on renovating part of its plumbing. The plans also include bringing in new flooring, completely renovating the pool, and some exciting additions to the C-Pod.

The new renovations to the high school are being led up by Superintendent Greg Briles and DCHS Principal Anne-Marie Circle. According to Mr. Briles, the school is working with a company called Performance Services. Last year, the company completed renovations for the elementary school and set up the electrical work for the solar panels. The renovations are planned to take place in between the window of June 1 and August 1, and will cost around $2 million. These renovations will be paid using a General Obligation Bond.  It’s really complicated, but the gist of it is that the local government will give DCSC a loan. The loan is only provided for those things that will benefit the community, and this will. However, the school is legally required to pay back the loan, and so it is a risk-free investment for the City of Delphi.

The piping will encompass the areas of the library, the guidance area, the bathrooms near the Little Theater and the English wing, and the commons all the way up until the senior mezzanine. (The mezzanine will not be renovated until the summer of 2019.) Along with that, the bathrooms will be completely updated, featuring “state of the art equipment” including new stalls that are wheelchair accessible, as well as new toilets, sinks, and drinking fountains.

The school’s heating and air conditioning units will be updated this summer as part of the renovation, primarily in the library and guidance area. Currently there is no heat in either of those areas.

New flooring and ceiling will be installed throughout the entire renovation area. Currently, the ceiling in the high school is plaster. To get to the pipes, the ceiling has to be torn out up until the senior mezzanine. The ceilings will be replaced with new, more modern, material.

Along with the new ceilings, the current flooring will also be ripped up and replaced. There will be an all new carpeted pathway leading from the lockers around the border of the commons to the classrooms, and the middle of the commons, where the tables are located, will be a durable vinyl that will make cleaning and upkeep easier. Mr. Briles says his hope is for a versatile floor “that can be used as a possible floor for dances and community meetings.” This new flooring will have a wave type pattern in Delphi’s school colors, and will have a giant ‘O’ in the middle of it. In addition, the same vinyl will be placed in a strip down the middle of the library, separating it into two carpeted areas and one vinyl area.

In the athletic area, major renovations will be made to the swimming pool. Over the summer, the entire pool will be drained, allowing the construction workers to paint the entire pool.  Sound absorbers in Delphi colors will be installed on the pool area walls to alleviate echos. The pool’s sound system will be evaluated as well. Currently, there is only one speaker in the pool area. The plan is to evaluate the current system and if changes are needed, they will be done in the future.

Mr. Briles has innovative ideas for the C-Pod. He hopes to turn that entire room into an “interactive learning center.” The plan for the room includes restaurant style booths, Apple TVs that students’ computers can be plugged into, creative seating that promotes active discussions, a wall comprised of entirely white boards, couches, an interactive art space, and tables to accommodate classes for interactive lectures. The back room of the C-Pod will be converted into a TV studio. Inside the room will be a green screen and video equipment, which can be used by anyone who has video needs. The C-Pod Interactive Learning Space will be available for use in all classes.

The pool will be drained and painted. Along with that, sound absorbers will go along the walls.

The renovations will cause some summer inconveniences. Nobody will be allowed inside the high school from June 1 – August 1 due to OSHA regulations. As a result, summer school will be moved to the science wing. Also, some of the locker rooms could possibly be out of commission over the summer due to their proximity to the construction areas.

Sections of the high school will need to make preparations in advance of the renovations. The entire library has to be moved, which includes all books, furniture, and the copy machine. “The library probably won’t have everything up and running by the time school starts,” said DCHS librarian Joyce Lawton. “We’re running entirely on student help, and it will take some time before all the books are put back on the shelves.”

Teachers could also face some inconvenience over the summer. Since the school will be quarantined, the teachers won’t have the benefit of coming in during the summer to prepare like they usually do. “Flexibility is the name of the game this summer,” said DCHS principal Mrs. Anne Marie Circle.

Mrs. Circle is excited for the project to start. “Our students and community deserve a school that is a hub that is aesthetically pleasing and welcoming. This is the community’s school.”

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