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Placerita Junior High transformed

School gets modern upgrades as part of $9.3 million renovation project

Posted: August 9, 2009 9:17 p.m.
Updated: August 10, 2009 8:30 a.m.

District officials tour the newly modernized library media center at Placerita Junior High on Tuesday.

 
Whenever Lisa Schindewolf taught her 30 art students at Placerita Junior High School how to make sculptures, she had to sit at one of the tables and have the students gather around to watch the step-by-step process.

"It was a real problem for kids to see the demonstration," she said.

But thanks to the technology upgrade that came with a 16-month modernization at the Newhall school, Schindewolf will be able to lead sculpting lessons from a projector perched on a table at the front of the classroom.

She won't have to rely on the boring white boards, either.

"I don't have to turn my back (to students)," she said. "They can see perfectly well."

Part of the upgrades meant giving teachers like Schindewolf a microphone that hangs around her neck, allowing every student to hear her instructions no matter where they sit in the classroom.

The new technology is one aspect of a $9.3 million renovation project at Placerita Junior High School that finished over the summer and is ready to greet students, teachers and administrators when school starts Thursday.

Funding for the project came from Measure V, the $158 million bond that local voters passed in 2001.

About 40 district officials joined the architects and project managers Tuesday to take a tour of the nine renovated buildings, which included the library and administration buildings, classrooms and the computer lab.

At nearly every classroom, administrators were introduced to teachers like Schindewolf who shared their appreciation for the updated buildings and the benefits to students.

Along with renovated boys' and girls' locker rooms that are now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, construction allowed for an upgraded gymnasium that has a flat screen television installed near the fresh paint with the phrase "Placerita Miner Pride."

The television can be used to broadcast daily school bulletins for students, said Paul Rivas, director of modernization for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

In case of an emergency, the gymnasium can be used as a shelter for the community and the television can broadcast news, he said.

Hart High School is also undergoing a modernization project that is expected to be completed by fall 2010.

The project will renovate 70 percent of the school's permanent classroom space and will add a 16,000-square-foot science facility.

Also under way is Sierra Vista Junior High School's $10.5 million modernization project to upgrade the school's eight classroom buildings, library and administration buildings.

District officials anticipate the modernization will be ready for student use in fall 2010.

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