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Teachers at Clover High School hurried to ready their classrooms for students’ arrival this week after the last phase of a two-year renovation of the school was complete.
“This is an athletic training dream facility,” said athletic trainer and teacher Kim Bressler, who will work in a remodeled classroom and training area that includes four new whirlpools, six treatment tables and four taping stations.
Bressler also said she and other staff members had a lot of involvement in the decisions. “We were able to be very involved in the process, down to where do you want your electrical outlets to be,” Bressler said.
The third and last phase of the high school renovation includes six remodeled science labs — bringing the school’s total number of remodeled labs to 10 — as well as renovations to the high school athletic wing that include a new dance classroom that doubles as a wrestling practice space.
There’s also a remodeled theater classroom and performance area and three new computer labs, bringing the total number of computer labs to five. The computer area also includes an iPad classroom.
Rob Addison, the school’s theater and drama teacher, said the new theater classroom offers space appropriate for rehearsals and potentially for some small performances.
“It’s a performance space, not just a room,” said Addison, who taught classes last year in a multipurpose room. “This moves the theater program forward, which is why I was brought here three years ago.”
The most recent renovations, which were completed over the summer, are the last leg of a two-year, multi-phased $13.5 million expansion and renovation at Clover High. Educators said the high school, which was built in 1977, needed to be updated for today’s programs.
The first phase of the project, completed over the summer of 2011, involved four science renovations, a renovated administrative and office area and a new second-floor counseling area.
The second phase of the project — which was a 52,000-square-foot addition to the adjacent Clover Applied Technology Center, doubling its size — opened in January 2012.
School spokesman Mychal Frost said several programs at Clover High were moved to the expanded ATC, leaving classroom spaces that were renovated for new uses. The athletic training facility is located in space formerly used by the auto program, which was moved to ATC.
The theater program is using space formerly used by ROTC, which also moved to ATC. Addison said he suggested knocking out a wall in the old ROTC classroom to create the performance space.
“It was my idea, and I got to be involved in the planning,” Addison said of the renovation. The new space, he said, “is exactly what I wanted, and it was more than I thought I was going to get.”
The combination dance and wrestling room was formerly used by the agriculture program, which also moved to ATC, Frost said. He said the dance program will be a new addition at the high school level.
Both middle schools have dance programs, Frost said, and leaders wanted to allow those students to continue their dance education in high school. He said wrestling practice, which was taking place in the cafeteria, will now have a designated space for that purpose.
Teachers, who first moved into renovated classrooms last week, were busy preparing for students’ arrival on Wednesday. Most of them were pleased with what they found.
“It turned out better than I expected, and I had high expectations,” said Nick LaFave, a Clover High science teacher who was unpacking in a renovated lab. “This is just so well designed compared to what the old labs were like.”