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Renovations being made to historic Lawton school

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:29 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Major upgrades are in store for the Douglass Learning Center in Lawton. The board approved a five-million-dollar project.

Superintendent Kevin Hime said they’re already planning to install new windows, along with central heat and air at Douglass.

The money will come from a school bond passed in 2017, but with help from grants he said they are able to update the building even more.

Currently, a portion of the facility is used for the Lawton Virtual Academy and Gateway Success Center.

Last year around this time, Hime said he and others started figuring out ways to use the east side of the building, which is currently not in use.

“So, we started looking at if we redo the auditorium, new ceiling tiles, new floors, new chairs, heat, and air, maybe paint. Now, we’ve got it a true facelift, and we have a nice auditorium that can be used for various things,” Hime said.

While thinking about what else they could do besides renovating the auditorium, they came up with creating a Professional Development Center.

“There are some really big rooms on the east side that use to be a band or music rooms that we could turn into Professional Development Center. One thing we need in our district is a professional development area. An area to have P.D. for principals, teachers, or different professionals that can come to it and have parking, and ample space in a high tech area.”

The roof and parking lot will be renovated along with new flooring throughout the entire building.

These upgrades come as excitement because 10, 15, and even 20-years down the road students, and staff at LPS will still benefit from the upgrades.

“I am beyond excited for the changes that Douglass is going to see in the building here. This is actually a historical building, so in our community, it means a lot,” Douglass Learning Center Principal Jennifer Mason said.

Hime is hopeful that the changes are made by the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

“The goal is August 1. Obviously, people who’ve tried to buy a washer, dryer, car, or anything knows that some supplies are slower than others, but our construction people feel like that can have this ready to go by August 1,” Hime said.

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