Saturday, October 6, 2018

Building for the Future--New Facilities at SHS and WHS Prepare Students for Success

"Whatever good things we build end up building us."--Jim Rohn
I saw this quote and realized how appropriate it would be for my blog.  On October 4 we held a ribbon cutting ceremony for our new JROTC Fieldhouse at Smithfield High School.  The building will serve as the first dedicated facility specifically for the JROTC program.  The previous location for the program was cramped and supplies were stored in various areas throughout the school.  In addition, cadets were practicing formations and drills outside in a parking area, or in hallways during bad weather.  The battalion now has a beautiful facility with space for classrooms, storage and drill practice.  The new structure was made possible by the Smithfield Foods Legacy Project, a $3 million donation to Isle of Wight County Schools announced in 2017 to fund an innovative and multifaceted educational program.

In the spring of 2018, we opened a brand new facility at Windsor High School to house the Building Trades program.  The previous space did not have sufficient room to work on larger-scale projects.  The new space allows students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in careers related to building construction.

A few weeks ago, we opened a new athletic fieldhouse at Smithfield High School, near Packer Stadium.  The building is equipped with team locker rooms and a weight room.  It also has public restrooms for use during sporting events.  The facility is a welcome addition to the athletic program at SHS.

The journey to these finished projects wasn't without bumps along the way, which is not uncommon with new construction.  Delays due to weather, changes that arose during the project, and inconveniences faced by students, parents and staff have been the painful part of the process.  The end result represents a commitment to our students to provide them with opportunities, and spaces, to discover their unique gifts and talents--a dedicated space for the JROTC program, a fieldhouse for student athletes, and an up-to-date classroom for building trades.  It is exciting to see the progress we are making and to think about the benefit these facilities will have for our students.   There are still more to come with new spaces for Culinary Arts, Nursing and Manufacturing.  Stay tuned for highlights about those spaces in a future blog. Please scroll down to see pictures of the JROTC building, the Building Trades lab and the Athletic Fieldhouse.

JROTC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Building Trades Lab

Athletic Fieldhouse