Friday, September 16, 2011

Pocomoke High School Dedication

Written by
Bill Kerbin

POCOMOKE CITY -- After years of holding classes amid construction, Pocomoke High School will dedicate its newly renovated and enlarged facility at ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The program, beginning at 10 a.m. (doors will open at 9:30), will include student performances and comments by Jon Andes, superintendent; Board of Education president Bob Hulburd; County Commissioner President James (Bud) Church; Pocomoke Mayor Bruce Morrison; and Kiana Smith, student representative to the Board of Education. Following the comments, the ribbon will be cut to officially dedicate the school.

The project, costing $42 million, or $1 million under the bid price, increases the school's footprint from 74,000 to 125,000 square feet.

Another feature that Principal Tyrone Mills points to with pride is the fact that it finally allows for the removal of the temporary buildings in place when he attended the school in the 1970s.

A state-of-the-art building, it will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system. Although he expects to see energy savings, Mills said that they will learn more about the extent after the school has been open for a while.

The classrooms, which are all larger than the previous rooms, have Smart Board technology. Each of the rooms will have a LCD TV that will be available for school announcements throughout the day, eliminating the need for the morning announcement session. They will be available for broadcasting events from other parts of the school as well.

A completely new science wing includes 24 lab stations in each room as well as a number of computers. The labs include hoods over stations, automatic gas shutoffs and showers in each room incase of a possible spill.

New to the school are two full computer labs as well as five wireless mobile computer carts, which can be taken to any of the classrooms when the labs are in use. A system using cameras in the hallways, the parking lots and the athletic complex provides security for the school.

With the construction of a new and larger gymnasium the school now has an auxiliary facility in part of the former gym. It can be used by both the physical education department and the ROTC.

"Our fitness room is second to none," Mills said. Also, the new gym doubles the seating capacity for games from about 490 to almost 1,000. The renovated auditorium now has seating for almost 500 people.

The new field for the outdoor athletic facility is permanent turf. It allows for play in the rain unless there is a downpour.

Mills called the transition a "community project," saying there was cooperation from all segments of the community. The Mar-Va Theater was used for events. Practice and games for sports teams were held at Newtown Park, Cypress Park, the YMCA, Pocomoke Middle School and Pocomoke Elementary School.

He also complimented the custodial staff for their extra efforts during the construction as well as the parents who had to take students to the games and practices.

Mills said that with the cooperation of the construction management company, the Board of Education, the County Commissioners and the staff that the construction turned out to be "a very smooth project."

"I can't thank everyone enough," he said.

Source;|newswell|text|Worcester County Times|s

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