YORKTOWN, N.Y. Students returning to Yorktown High School this fall will see plenty of changes to the school, from new hallways and lockers to new athletic facilities.
The $6 million in renovations are part of a capital improvement bond project approved by voters in 2006. That bond, combined with state aid, added up to almost $40 million in funding that was used by the district in the past few years to update its facilities.
The district has taken advantage of low interest rates and construction costs to help stretch the money further, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Tom Cole.
Weve actually been able to take advantage of the economic conditions that have been prevalent so far, and we have been able to do about 30 percent more projects than we would have had we gone out in a single season and done 40 million worth or construction, Cole said during a tour of the school Friday.
Students will enter the school through a renovated front lobby, where security staff and the attendance office will be located. New security and fire doors that can be locked in case of emergencies were installed. A new alarm system was installed at the school for security overnight. Many of the schools ceiling panels and light fixtures were also replaced.
The district has replaced more than 1,000 outdated lockers with new larger lockers that are handicapped accessible in order to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. New whiteboards were installed on many hallway walls and classroom doors. The boards are intended to eliminate the need for posters and billboards that the district believes waste paper.
They are designed to eliminate the paper that hangs so teachers can write in erasable marker those things that they would normally use to communicate to students, Cole said.
The nurses office was also renovated to be more spacious and allow more privacy for student care.
The schools main athletic field, which is used for football, soccer, field hockey and more, is being replaced with a new artificial turf field with much-improved drainage capacities. The adjacent all-weather rubberized track is also being replaced. Both the field and track will be completed later in the school year.
The school will also get a brand new press box for the athletic field. The multi-level cement structure is being built through donations by the Huskers Club and several other donors.
Other improvements include the installation of an intruder system, which goes on at the end of the day and gets activated if it senses movement. There is also a surveillance system installed in every high school hallway.
District officials plan to make renovations to Mildred E. Strang Middle School next summer as the final part of the construction project.
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