Since 1918, Van Buren High School has stood high over the houses of the village of Van Buren. In the time since then, the foundation of the building has increasingly deteriorated, and is in dire need of repairs. Superintendent Tim Myers says this is why he agreed to put a $29.3 million bond issue on the May 6 ballot.
The bond issue will go toward many improvements in the high school, middle school and elementary buildings.
“The primary purpose would be to remove older sections, create new academic space, and update the gym. The money will also be invested in renovations in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) units in the high school, middle school and elementary buildings,” says Myers.
Another reason for the improvements is to gear classrooms toward “21st century learning.” According to Myers, this will mean teachers will be able to aide students in different levels of a subject at the same time. Technology and computer labs will also be updated to keep up with new learning standards.
If the bill is passed on May 6, faculty will look at beginning to build the school before the 2015-2016 school year.
“First, the levy has to pass, and if it does, we will begin planning right away. The earliest we would start building is June of 2015,” says Myers.
Most of the school will be torn down during this renovation. A small portion will remain standing, but the interior will be redesigned along with the rest of the school. Building the school will happen over a four-year, two-phase time period. This means that students will have a place to learn at all times while half of the building is being renovated.
Whether or not the Van Buren School buildings get a renovation is up to the voting taxpayers. Stay tuned for the ballot results this spring, to see if the school will get a makeover.