Milford High to undergo transformation

February 19th, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

When the Milford community voted yes for a bond issue in November 2007, they were giving the school district a green light to begin much-needed additions and renovations to Milford High School and the Ninth Grade Community.

The bond issue generated $31.375 million, allowing the district to begin planning for construction.

Elected officials, students, parents, staff and community members took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 11.

The teachers from the Ninth Grade Community break ground for the addition to Milford High School. They are, from left, Jim DuPriest, Earl Willson, Jeffrey Hoover, Kathy Rude, Claire Elson, Kate Ackerman and Julie Darland.
Superintendent Robert Farrell welcomed guests to the ceremony and explained how the renovations will enhance the school and provide much needed space for students.

"We are really excited about the opportunity for the Ninth Grade Community and we are really excited about the plans for the high school," Farrell said.

The plan for the high school calls for 100,000 square feet of additional space and the renovation of 37,000 square feet. An addition to the school will include a new wing for the Ninth Grade Community.

The Ninth Grade Community was implemented during the 2003-2004 school year and was based upon research that shows the ninth grade as one of the most difficult times in a student's life. In a large school, such as Milford, the transition to a much larger school is made easier through the Ninth Grade Community.

The ninth grade students are separated from the rest of the student body, they eat by themselves in the cafeteria and the majority of their classrooms are separated from the upper grades. Many of the NGC classrooms have been set up in modulars outside the main building making it difficult for students to get from class to class in inclement weather.

A new two-story wing will house the NGC and providing space for all the students within the high school.

Ernie House, principal of the NGC thanked administrators and staff for their support of the NGC and expressed appreciation for the eight teachers who have been with the program from the beginning and who remain.

"These teachers and students have braved the wind, snow and rain transitioning in and out of the building numerous times," said House. "It will be a good day when the students do not have to do this anymore."

In addition to the new wing, the current high school will receive a major renovation. The renovation will offer tighter security with an improved front entrance, wider corridors to improve hallway congestion, an expanded cafeteria and kitchen, a new music wing, a new ring road to improve traffic circulation and with altering in the traffic flow, changes will be necessary for the athletic fields.

Architects met with school board members, administrators, staff members, students and community members when planning the design and to ensure that they stay within the planned budget.

The bond issue was to be collected beginning Jan. 2009 and the timing of the bond meant that there is no increase in tax millage. The bond can only be used for construction and not operational expenditures for the district.

Construction is set to begin in the spring and is expected to be complete the early part of the 2010-2011 school year.

To track the progress of the construction, visit the Milford Exempted Village Schools Web site and click on the Bond Issue Progress page.
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