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Friday, December 19, 2014

OHS to host open house

After nearly five years of planning, raising funds and construction, the community will get its first chance to tour the new $30 million Oxford High School next week.
OHS will hold a community open house Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the new high school in the Oxford Commons area. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a dedication ceremony in the cafeteria, followed by guided tours of the school. The public is welcome to attend.
“I would like to thank the community for their continued support of our students, teachers and staff,” said Brian Harvey, superintendent for the Oxford School District. “This new school is not the only evidence of that support, but it is a tremendous testament to this community’s commitment to all of our children.”
The new high school is the jewel in the crown of a massive capital improvement program that’s been taking place in the Oxford School District in recent years.
School leaders began the building program in response to the rapid rise in student enrollment that has occurred in the OSD during the past decade. Several of the existing schools have been, or will be, renovated as part of this building program.
Funding package
As part of the overall funding package for the capital improvement project, voters in the Oxford School District supported a bond issue in 2011. A ground-breaking ceremony for the new high school was held in September 2012.
The new high school replaces the existing high school, which was built more than half a century ago. Work is just getting underway to transform the former high school into a new middle school.
The new high school welcomed students through its doors on Jan. 7. The state-of-the-art facility features flat screen TVs in each room, larger classrooms, two-story wings, energy efficiency windows and more.
“We’re so thankful for the opportunity to show our gratitude to the community for the building of this new high school,” OHS principal Mike Martin said.
“We can’t wait to show off some of the new technological advances that enhance our educational process. Our new building has expanded our horizons in technology. The sky is the limit.”
Many parents have only heard about all of the amenities the new high school has to offer, but next week they will get a chance to have a guided tour of their children’s new fortress of education.
“After hearing bits and pieces about the new high school I am really excited to see it,” OHS parent Theresa Holley said. “My daughter, who is a junior, and her friends are so excited about it.”
As with most construction projects, the building of the new high school has had setbacks. The original completion date was Nov. 30, 2013, but construction did not reach substantial completion until New Year’s Day.
As the district’s Christmas break concluded, all was ready for students at the new high school except the gymnasium. Originally, the gym was to be finished by the time of the open house, but Harvey said the bleachers have taken longer than expected to be put together, which delayed the painting and sealing of the gym floor.
“The construction company has gone over the date of completion and we will deal with that in time,” Harvey said. “The painting of the floor is a 13-day process and by the time of the tour it would not be cured long enough for people to walk on it. We will be touring the gym, but we will not be able to go onto the bottom floor.”
The tour will begin in the cafeteria and lead to the gym and then to the rest of the school.
“We urge not only every parent, but everyone who supported us in this journey to come and visit our unbelievable educational facility that the community helped to give us,” Martin said.
“As a graduate of Oxford High School, I consider it an honor to have had the opportunity to be part of the planning and construction of such a magnificent facility,” Harvey said. “I know that all of our employees, construction committee members, and volunteers feel the same. It’s encouraging to know that our children and grandchildren will reap the benefits of this generous investment.” (February 11, 2014, Page 1)

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