The Pueblo Chieftan

School improvements show movement

Students and staff at Pueblo West High School are adjusting to some temporary changes as construction continues at the school.

The necessary state and regional permits for some of the additions have recently been approved, and Principal Martha Nogare said big changes will be visible soon.

“We have a huge hole in the front of the school for the new administration area,” she said.

“But we’ve been waiting for the regional permits to go through. Then we can start the construction of the auditorium as well.

“Everybody has been really patient and cooperative, which is nice,” Nogare added.

Some things have been shuffled around this year ­— the three modular buildings were emptied and have just been moved off campus to open up the space for the auditorium addition.

The modulars were temporarily moved to the staff parking lot, meaning that staff had to park elsewhere – in designated spaces in the main lot or dirt lots at the school property.

“Parking has been horrendous and has impacted events and things,” Nogare said.

“We know it’s a short-term inconvenience though.”

Perhaps most difficult, the six teachers who had their classrooms in the modular buildings were moved – along with those 200 students per period – into the main building.

Those teachers are currently roaming, floating from room to room, utilizing other teachers’ rooms when they don’t have students.

Nogare said the students and teachers have adapted well to the big game of musical chairs.

“Kids adjust so well,” she said.

“I really have to commend our kids and staff for the great job they’re doing in putting up with this. It’s upsetting for a routine for sure.”

Those teachers will have new permanent homes for their classrooms when the new school year begins in August, according to construction timelines.

Pueblo West High School received the permit for the classroom addition during the winter break, so construction is moving right along.

Nogare said the elevator shaft and main floor structures are in, and steel beams are going up.

Final plans for the new administration area at the front of the school – along with a secure entrance – are for a 5,000-foot addition.

The area which currently houses administration offices will be converted to a Hall of Fame and some athletic and activity offices.

“Finally after 15 years, we’re getting our Hall of Fame. We have some history now,” Nogare said.

One of the most recent discussions about construction for the auditorium addition includes the big question: “Where are we going to put the dirt?” Nogare said.

Some of it will be used to create wind barriers along the north side of the baseball field and west side of the tennis courts, she said.

“Thanks again to everyone for being so patient during all of this,” Nogare said.

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