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Bond money used to renovate facilities across campus at Collinsville High School

Posted at 4:40 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 19:08:17-04

COLLINSVILLE, Okla. — An agriculture greenhouse and classrooms, a new performance space for band, and a virtual reality lab are just some of the buildings getting ready to open before school starts on Thursday.

This will replace 40-year-old facilities across the high school.

"It was great during it's time but the space isn't there, the storage isn't there, the electrical capabilities are not there. So this will open new doors and new programs for our students here in Collinsville," agriculture instructor Jennifer Hamlin said.

The goal is hands-on learning, which the community supported when approving this bond last year.

"A lot of students don't truly learn until they do something or see something happen. So seeing something in a book or on a video, it makes sense when they can get hands-on and do that themselves. It's a different thought process for a lot of kids," Hamlin said.

Staff tell 2 Works for You challenges with older facilities prevented many students from joining activities like band. They hope these improvements will change the high school experience.

"It helps brain development. It's going to help you feel like you're a part of something. It helps testing. All of those kinds of things. It keeps kids out of trouble," band director Rod Mackey said.

This is phase one of a three-part project, costing more than $6 million and averaging about $2400 a student.

"This is going to give them a resource that they haven't had and not many schools have to really enhance the great teaching that they already do. It will give students another opportunity and things that they want to experience," principal Scott Kiker said.

The bond also allowed for classroom additions at the elementary school. Next steps will look at things like safety and athletic facilities.

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