25 June 2018

Galena High School Expansion Continues

Galena High School is nearing the end of an expansion project.  Although the 7.5 million dollar project is opening later than expected, we spoke with officials about how they're bringing the school into the 21st century while still keeping a piece of history. 

It's been a busy week for construction crews at the galena high school.
But officials's all worth it.

"We've been growing as a district. Our science rooms were 50 years old. Our gymnasium was built in 1963, and its also 50 years old. So we knew it was time to move forward." says Brian Smith, Superintendent of Galena Schools.

Crews are hard a work on a 7.5 million dollar expansion, which will include new classrooms, a community fitness center, and a new gymnasium.

"The idea was that the community was supporting this facility and the community has use of this facility." says Chad Greer, of CGA Architects

Voters passed the bond issue last year in an election. Officials say having community input was a key part in getting the project done.

"We also talked to them about what they were looking for in an expansion, what type of facility, what it felt like to be in here, and what message it conveyed to the community." Greer says.

Smith says the thing the community expressed the most is hometown pride.

"One thing I think that was a common theme with everyone is they wanted that bulldog theme to come through." He says.

The classrooms were expected to be completed for student use after Labor Day, but due to weather, the date was pushed back a week.

"We had a contingency plan. And when we talked with the architect and when we talked with the construction company, I told them this facility is going to be around for 50 years. A month or two is not going to make a huge difference. We just want to make sure everything is done right." Smith says.

The expansion also includes a community storm shelter that can hold a 1,000 people. Two shelters were also added at spring grove elementary that can hold a total of around 400.

Students will be able to use the new classrooms in the next several days, while completion of the gym and fitness center is scheduled for October.

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