Nuts & Bolts: Interior renovations and improvements

The Capital Improvement Project includes a number of interior renovations and improvements that will address a number of needs at the high school.

Cafeteria and kitchen improvements

The cafeteria is an open space without walls separating it from the hallways, making it completely open to students and staff as they travel between classes. In addition, the kitchen and serving line is located in the center of the cafeteria, splitting it into two spaces with seating on both sides. Both of these issues make it difficult to supervise, and the serving line area is congested and disorganized.

Furthermore, the space is simply too small. In order to accommodate students, lunch periods must begin at 10:30 a.m. – leaving students hungry in the afternoon – and end at 1:30 p.m. – just 45 minutes before school is dismissed.

The proposed renovations include relocating the kitchen and serving line so they are to the side of the cafeteria instead of in the center. The kitchen will be housed in a 464 square foot addition with an improved, adjacent serving line.

This relocation will improve the efficiency of the serving line as well as the cafeteria’s overall layout by creating one large space versus two separate spaces. The cafeteria will also become enclosed so it’s separated from crowded hallways. In addition, the air handling unit will be replaced, air conditioning installed, interior finishes modernized and new kitchen equipment will be purchased.

Additional classrooms

In 2000, the community approved a bond referendum that provided additions for new instructional space at Scotchtown Avenue, Goshen Intermediate and C. J. Hooker. The high school has never added instructional space in its 40 year history. When Goshen High School was constructed in 1976, the building capacity was 770 students. The student population is now approximately 1,000 students.

Although the student population has leveled in recent years, the building is still housing approximately 200 students more than capacity and there is a lack of adequate instructional space. Proposed interior renovations include the addition of five classrooms, including two dedicated special education classrooms converted from existing administrative offices.

These five classrooms are in addition to the four classrooms that will be added as part of the 15,000 square foot addition, for a total of nine new classrooms. Learn more about the 15,000 square foot addition

The additional classrooms will help accommodate the high school’s growing academic program – new courses and programs have been developed in recent years in response to the rigorous learning standards of the Common Core – and will appropriately address special education programming that requires dedicated classrooms for self-contained and primary-level courses.

New wall partitions between the ‘A’ wing classrooms

The high school was built with an open concept environment – a trend in the 70s that was short lived. The original intention was to provide flexibility and adaptability to the changing needs of an educational learning space, but the openness proved unfavorable to learning.

In response, interior partition walls were constructed to separate the large open space into 18 classrooms in the ‘A’ wing. These walls are removable, collapsible metal partition walls that do not extend above the ceiling plane and consequently, do not minimize sound transmission from one classroom to the next. Simply put, these classrooms are noisy and distracting. The wall partitions will be replaced with permanent wall partitions that provide better acoustic properties and will create a more efficient learning environment for students.

Additional improvements

Just as your home gets constant wear and tear both inside and out, so do our schools – except our buildings and properties are used by hundreds of children, staff and visitors every day. The proposed Capital Improvement Project will address a number of items that are in need of repair, including sidewalks, curbs and the parking lot in front of ‘A’ wing as well as the sidewalk connecting Scotchtown Avenue Elementary School to the new bus loop at the high school. The original windows and lockers – more than 40 years old – will be replaced. The HVAC system will receive upgrades to replace aging air handling units, and a new fire alarm system will be installed. Lastly, the roof will receive repairs after several years of exposure to sun, snow and rain.