By Elizabeth Gillingham
Patrick Henry High School is officially modernized with air conditioned classrooms; and PHAME! (Patrick Henry Arts, Media, and Entertainment!), our new performing arts center, is almost ready for operation. We are hoping to take ownership of the building in October as the finishing touches will be applied.
If you haven’t driven by Henry, you need to see this magnificent new building that has created a modernized look for the campus as it can be seen from almost every corner. Please look for announcements on our Opening Night and other magical events that we will soon be able to offer! We hope to have one special event planned for the community to invite you to see how your tax dollars were spent and how lucky we are to have this facility to share with you. More information for that will be coming as we get closer to our grand opening.
And, just when you thought it was over, we begin phase two of our modernization plan by adding a two-story building on the southeast corner of the school property.
This building will be a state-of-the-art green building designed to be energy efficient and create a learning space that will be conducive to outstanding teaching and learning environments. It will house the ROP Child Development lab, the math department, and the world language department — replacing all the old bungalows near the gym.
Having an “International Hallway” on the bottom floor will be a wonderful way to convey the importance of culture and architecture that comes with teaching another language. On the second floor, the world of math (also thought of as another language all on its own with symbols and notations unique to communication between mathematicians) will be situated so that teachers can plan together and students can have access to several math teachers if they need help. The classrooms will include i21 technology and, in some cases, be able to divide rooms into larger lecture halls for special events by removing a retractable wall.
In addition, with this project we’ll be expanding our engineering classrooms in the 500 building and remodeling the front office to provide for a faculty lounge (a place for staff to meet and plan lessons together). This work will occur over the summer of 2017 to help complete this project.
We have a third phase in the wings (it will begin next summer) where we’ll be remodeling our stadium and our playing fields (baseball and softball). More on that phase to come.
—Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School. Reach her at email@example.com.