OK, I know it wasn’t supposed to open this way.
I know it’s a year behind schedule and I know it’s not going to be totally finished until the auditorium gets put together later this year.
One school board candidate told me last week that the high school construction project has become “a joke.” I don’t dispute his assertion. I’ve been a part of the coffee shop chatter and have thrown out a sarcastic one-liner or two myself.
I’ve sat in on some of the discussions that have taken place over the past several months between school administration, the board of education and reps from CSI (the general contractor for the high school project).
No, it hasn’t been a pretty process. It’s been a rough three years. Yes, at times it has been a joke.
But, people, enough is enough. It’s time to get over it. It’s time to quit stewing and time to stop going out of our way to find something negative to say about the high school project.
It’s time we all start moving forward and start recognizing our new high school for what it really is and what it’s going to be - the most significant addition to our community in generations.
I made it a point to be at the high school bright and early Thursday for the first day of orientation and classes. I can tell you that what the school’s opening lacked in fanfare, it more than made up for in excitement.
You could feel the electricity in the air. Kids, the majority of them who were seeing their new school for the very first time, were in awe. Staff members were visibly taken in by the moment in history, a moment many thought would never come. Everyone was absolutely thrilled to be in their new building. Heck, one staff member even gave me a hug.
Just like many of you, I’ve been skeptical about this process. I, too, would have preferred to see the project completely finished before kids were allowed to walk the hallways, but that’s water under the bridge now.
Is having kids in the building while some construction work is still being completed an ideal situation? Of course not. Is it a workable situation? From what I’ve seen over the past week, I would say it is.
Of course, we must continue to demand quality workmanship as the remaining phase of the project gets carried out, but I firmly believe when all is said and done, we will have the premiere high school and middle school in western Iowa.
That’s right, I said the premiere high school and middle school.
The move of the middle school from the old Meyers Building on the campus of the Glenwood Resource Center to our former high school building has gotten lost in all the drama of the past several months, but there’s no denying that it’s a drastic upgrade for our sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
There’s still some work to be done at both buildings, but the bottom line is that we now have educational facilities in our community that are second to none, and contrary to what you might have heard, that’s a good thing.