Construction near completion at Duncan High School

Construction near completion at Duncan High School

DUNCAN, Okla._The renovation project at Duncan High School is on track to be finished by the time the first bell rings in August.

Construction began May 2013 after voters approved a $19 million bond issue. The work has been done in three phases over the past two years. The renovations have increased the amount of students the school can hold from 900 to 1,200.

Construction is now in final phase of completion, which consists of adding a freshman academy on the west wing and adding some other additional classrooms.

Duncan High School was built back in the 1960s and has not had any major renovations until now. Principal Justin Smith has been with the construction from square one and says it is now a place everyone can be proud of.

"We have a state-of-the-art school now, we would put this up against anyone in the state of Oklahoma as far as our structures. So, we are very happy about that," said Smith.

Smith hopes students will enjoy a new sense of pride in their school. The campus renovations were built to have a college feel by making the library and cafeteria area much like a student union.

"Those are a lot of things that many kids don't get the opportunity to be a part of," said Smith.

Teachers at Duncan High are also getting state-of-the-art equipment including smart boards. New classrooms are being added so teachers will have their own space rather than being in a temporary room. Superintendent Melonie Hau says they want to be proactive and make sure teachers have what they need to be successful in the classroom.

"It's just a better working environment so they can focus on helping students reach their fullest potential rather worrying about the heat and air not being the right temperature," said Hau.

Both Hau and Smith are giving their thanks to the community and say without their involvement, this would not have been possible.

"We know that it's not easy to come up with extra dollars each month for taxes and so forth, and we are very thankful for the community for that and we feel like they are going to see increased growth in student enrollment and hopefully increased learning in our students because of the new facility," said Smith.

The expected completion of construction is the middle of July. The school will have a ribbon cutting ceremony once the constructions is completed.