Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Plans for new East Middle School 2.0 on display
By JENNIFER NGUYEN
Journalism Club Editor
There has been much talk about the rebuilding of the new East Middle School and when and where it will happen. But fear no more fellow students, the answers to all your questions have been answered; well, almost all of them.
The new East Middle School campus, or as I like to call it, EMS 2.0, will be built on former grounds and is being currently designed by Holks Miller Architects. The school is estimated at a cost of about 23.3 million dollars, holding approximately a student capacity of 750. As far as what the school will look like, the designs are in working progress, so the "look" changes constantly. But, recently, information has been revealed to the Journalism Club, and what we know, we will tell.
The school is to be a two story building (complete with an elevator) that is mainly divided into three "houses." One house will be assigned to the sixth grade, one to the seventh grade, and one to the eighth grade. Each house will contain a "living room," an area in the center of the house that is designated for class activities, house meetings, and other events that might occur. Each house will be a separate team in which the students are divided into according to grade. This arrangement will make things more flexible so that students will have the same classes and teachers as required. Another new thing is that the walls of the houses aren't just any ordinary walls; they are going to be made out of glass! And, of course, each house will contain bathrooms and lockers available for use.
The new middle school will also include a hallway made just for student electives. This hallway will be known as the "Fine Arts" hallway and will hold special rooms for the different elective classes. The same athletic area and equipment will be provided, such as the gym, weight room, wrestling room, football field, and soccer goals with a field. Plans for a laptop counter lining the outer hallways of the school have also been discussed.
As of Friday, January 6, 2012, the R-8 Board of Education voted to allow plans for the East Middle School and the Duquesne and Duenweg Elementary Schools to be connected on the same campus. Even though the schools will be joined, they will still be considered separate schools, although both schools will share the same auditorium and kitchen. This is because the property for the middle school has increased almost twice as much. The elementary school's cost is about 12.7 million dollars, holding a student capacity of 450. The school's name is yet to be discovered, and the current school will be used in the years ahead for a future growth and early childhood center.
What will kids like the most about the new school? When asked this question, Mr. Jason Weaver, EMS's assistant principal, replied saying that there are many things to like about the new school, but one is that there is a lot friendlier, non-traditional space. It will be very unique, special, and "fun to hang out" in.