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AOC starts year in new ‘home’

Relocation, more classes, indoor bathrooms provide a more enjoyable learning enviornment

Posted: September 8, 2009 10:11 p.m.
Updated: September 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Academy of the Canyons rang in the 2009-10 school year in style with a brand new campus.

The academy has relocated to the new Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center  and boasts many new architectural and technological amenities available to students and faculty.

“We were in portables at the original campus,” said AOC principal Jill Shenberger. “And although we liked it down there it was like a circle of wagons; We felt very safe and comfortable but the students just didn’t have the same access.”

Such limited access for the students included restrooms and a cafeteria located on the other side of the college.

The new location provides the students with on-campus facilities.

“That’s a big deal to have restrooms indoors,” Shenberger said.

“For example, in the student restrooms in the old site, there were maybe two or three stalls but here we have like 12 so its very nice. We will also have access to the food service that is provided in this building. Our kids had to walk all the way to the S building before.”

The new campus continues to win the approval of many students as they adjust to their new, comfortable learning environment.

“The old campus (courtyard) wasn’t indoors so it was always really hot out,” said sophomore Jesi Pineda. “It didn’t have a home feeling to it. We knew we weren’t settled in there so we feel at home here.”

“Just having a hallway to walk in, having new desks, having new white boards, the teachers offices are nicer ­— it’s just a nice environment to learn in,” said Sarah Varela, Senior and ASB Director of Activities.

Technology-wise, the school has many innovations available to immediately enhance the students’ learning experiences.

“The biggest change for the middle college is the addition of the document cameras: It’s called an Elmo,” Shenberger said. “What it does, is unlike an overhead projector, you can take any document, any textbook, anything and put it under the camera and it flips it right onto the screen. It’s just a fabulous, fabulous tool.”

Upgraded computers, including new Macintosh computers and LCD projectors in every classroom are also notable features of the new campus.

“We’re pretty much offering the same classes just more of them because we have more space,” said Shenberger. “So we’re relying a little bit less on College of the Canyons for our underclassmen and a little bit more for our upperclassmen so it’s allowed us flexibility there.”

AOC has gone from four classes and a computer lab to eight classes and a computer lab.

“We have geometry now, chemistry classes and we have a lot more selections,” said senior Rosario Lopez.

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