Students return to renovated GMHS
September 09, 2009
GORHAM — After more than a year of avoiding construction, students at Gorham Middle High got their school back last week. They were treated to the upgraded facilities for the first week of classes.
"We're honeymooning right now," said GMHS principal Keith Parent.
The upgraded facilities have been a resounding success with the students, he said. They didn't realize all the changes, he said, like the new patio area outside the new cafeteria.
"The first day day I had to tell kids to go out," he said.
The construction was required for the school to maintain its accreditation, which was on probation since 2002. The school was taken off probation this summer partly because of the updates to the facility.
The renovation included a new science lab, shop, resource room, performance space, cafeteria and kitchen. It cost $5 million.
At a table in the cafeteria, a group of juniors and seniors talked about the improvements to the buildings.
"The pizza's better," said Dylan King, an opinion that was seconded by most the people at the table. The tables aren't as close together either, and it is nice to be out of the basement.
Alex and Lorne Horne described the improvements to the science wing. The old one was cold, with clogged sinks and leaking ceilings; in the new one everything works great.
The only complaint was the wood shop is smaller than it used to be, but overall the sentiment was positive.
There are still a few minor bugs though. The new cafeteria is spacious, quiet and well lit, but when the class bell rings no one in the room can hear it.
"Are they going to get that fixed?" one student asked as he hurried out the door, late for class.
Principal Parent smiled when he heard the student's comments, nodding his head yes to each of the criticisms of the old cafeteria and science lab.
"It's really been beyond my hopes," he said.