Returning to school is a familiar routine for most students. Tuesday marked the first day in the Alcester-Hudson School District. For nearly 100 years, high school students could count on at least one constant…until now. This year, they have to get used to a major change.
In the cafetorium, there’s a lot to feast your eyes on.
“This area will be our stage area. We’ll have our homecoming stuff up here,” Tim Rhead, superintendent, said.
The spotlight is on Alcester-Hudson’s brand new high school. It’s the first time students like senior Elizabeth Hallaway are spending the first day of school there.
“I’m really excited. It’s really nice to have such a new thing come to such a small town,” Elizabeth said.
The hallways are crisp and clean with new spacious classrooms. Rhead says it’s a step up from the old high school, built in 1922.
“It was definitely showing it’s age,” Rhead said.
Rhead says the community is hoping to repurpose the old high school. He says part of that conversation has included possibly turning the building into apartments, but there’s no decision yet. Voters approved a $9.3 million bond to build the new facility. Rhead says some of the features are cooler than others. Literally.
“The central air, as you can feel. Typically it’s about 85 to 90 degrees in the rooms. Now they’re set at 69. I know they’re going to like that,” Rhead said.
Apparently air conditioning was a hot topic at the old school.
“The AC sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t,” Rachel Kelderman said.
The best part for students and parents may be a safety upgrade. Previously, students would have to walk and cross a busy highway to get to their PE classes, because the gyms are in the elementary school. They don’t have to anymore, because the new facility is attached and now everything is in the same location.
“I personally did not like it. I thought crossing the highway was not very good. We almost had a few accidents every once in a while. In the cold, it was not fun at all,” Kelderman said.
Rhead says the district adds five to ten students every year, and the new high school will accommodate that growth as it adds up. He says he’s grateful to community taxpayers who have an appetite for education.
“The communities of Alcester and Hudson, when it comes to education, have always stepped up and done what needed to be done,” Rhead said.