Campus construction upgrades infrastructure

A+new+building+section+remains+under+construction+on+the+DHS+campus.

Jerad Armstrong

A new building section remains under construction on the DHS campus.

The constant thud of a sledgehammer striking cement resounds around the campus. Tractors and other heavy equipment beep monotonously outside. A myriad of construction workers shout conversations over the constant hum of engines. Students have become increasingly used to these sounds and have been told that they are the resonant hum of progress.

However, since the project’s conception, many students have been skeptical of its usefulness, and many others have wondered aloud whether or not the project has made any of that promised progress.

“I think it’s useless,” said junior Kayla DeThomas.

Senior Jacob Anders also feels some doubt of the construction.

“They’ve fenced off a ridiculous area for what they’re actually working on,” Anders said.

In regards to whether or not the work was going according to schedule, Len Lawson, maintenance director for the high school, might say otherwise.

“For a project of this size, it’s going about where we’d like it,” he said.

According to Lawson, the project has been split into three phases, as is typical with projects of this scope.

The first phase, which is scheduled to be finished in July, is mostly devoted to the new south wing. Included in this phase is the new cafeteria, which is nearly finished, certain offices, the library, and several classroom renovations.

The second phase, scheduled to begin around the start of next school year, deals with the central area of the campus and includes the new main offices, a new kitchen for the cafeteria, and several more classrooms.

The third and final phase deals with a new north wing. The start and end date of this is still to be announced, but it will include a new outdoor amphitheater and the new Freshman Academy.

Many of the students’ complaints stem from a belief that the work is moving along unreasonably slowly. One such student is senior Catelin Morris.

“They should have started way earlier than they did,” Morris said.

While it is true that the construction is going a little behind schedule, it is mostly, as job superintendent Tommy Holt explains, the fault of the weather.

“The temperature has to be 35 and rising for brick to be laid,” Holt said, adding, “The weather’s killing us.”

Holt says the weather has set the work back about two weeks. However, even with the weather’s interference, the work may still be finished perfectly on schedule.

Rodney Calhoun, Assistant Superintendent for Duncan Public Schools, said, “We may make up for lost time.”

With a project of this size, running behind schedule is to be expected, and even with the problems, many others do see the necessity of the renovations. For example junior Sam Perry feels that the renovations are needed.

“It’s inconvenient, but necessary,” said junior Sam Perry.

Despite the problem of the weather, the construction continues, and the hum of progress continues through the school’s halls.