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Are we Finally Getting a New School?

Audra Foster and Lauren DeBoyes

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For years, students and teachers have complained about the various conditional issues with our school and about how outdated it is. The bathrooms are revolting, the lockers are falling off their hinges, and the classrooms are outdated and not ideal for modern educational methods.

 

Pentucket Regional High School was built in the early 1950s and founded in 1954.  It was first renovated in 1994 when the library area of the school was updated. Then in the early 2000s, the cafeteria was expanded and the modular classrooms were added. However, these were torn down a few years ago. Nothing has been done to the school since then, so needless to say, our school is in dire need of repair and renovation.

 

Rumors of a new school have been circling for years, but what really are the district’s plans? The Pentucket Profile recently interviewed Mr. Seymour, the principal of Pentucket Regional High School, to get more information.

 

Mr. Seymour recognizes two major issues with the school that need fixing: “One is the core facilities, so like heating, plumbing, electrical. Those systems are very, very old and are well past their life expectancy.” Those systems are designed to last 30 years, but the ones at Pentucket High School are nearing their 60th. Mr. Seymour acknowledges this: “And all of these sort of water problems and floods and different things, these are all just because it’s just past its life expectancy. It wasn’t supposed to last this long, and it’s just barely hanging on, so you kind of never know when the next thing is going to happen.” Everyone will remember the electrical outage earlier this year, a perfect example of one of these systems failing.

 

The second major issue with the high school is the building itself. Most students would agree that the school is extremely outdated. Mr. Seymour says, “Why does the wifi not work that great? It’s not that we don’t have a bunch of [routers] everywhere in the school. It’s just that the school wasn’t built that way. Sometimes the building itself just gets in the way.”

 

The high school also cannot handle its capacity of students. The cafeteria is packed with students during every lunch. Several high school classes are held in the middle school due to lack of learning space in the old building.

 

“We’re doing all of these really innovative programs and we just don’t have room for them. We need more specialized [classrooms],” says Mr. Seymour.

 

For example, the school has acquired equipment for the movement science program. The equipment was intended to have its own classroom in the mods. However, after the mods flooded and were torn down, the school had nowhere else to put it. Mr. Seymour informs the Pentucket Profile: “That’s why that classroom, room 59, has all that stuff crammed in there. There’s no place for it,”  

 

When it comes to fixing these problems, there is a long process the district must go through. The district is currently in the feasibility period, the third step out of the six. During this time, the state will review our school’s problems and decide upon the best way to go about solving them. Once this process is complete, the district will move into planning, funding, and construction. All of these steps will take years to complete, surely past the time even the freshmen graduate.

 

Mr. Seymour reflects on the process: “We still have a ways to go. The exciting part is that we’re in the process, and [that] we are where we are. So even though there is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done, […] we’re still several years from actually doing any construction.”

 

Mr. Seymour has high hopes for the new school: “My first hope is that we come up with a project that will be funded and that will be able to address the concerns in the school. In addition to that I hope we can build a school that will allow us to continue on this path of a really exciting learning environment for kids.”

 

Want to learn more about the building project? Visit http://prhs.prsd.org/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1479548303064 for more information.

 

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The student news site of Pentucket Regional High School
Are we Finally Getting a New School?