GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - The 38-year-old Georgetown High School in need of major repairs and upgrades finally got the facelift it's been waiting for, thanks for $28 million.
Georgetown Independent School District officials are hosting a grand reopening for the school on Thursday evening, unveiling its new look after two years of work.
The school got $28 million from a $137 million bond package voters approved back in 2010.
"Seeing the end of it is very rewarding, and we’re really excited about the way the project has turned out," said Joe Dan Lee, GISD superintendent. "I think our staff and students are going to be very excited when it’s completed and clean, and I think our patrons are going to be pleased with what our tax dollars are being utilized for.”
A lot of the work focused on widening the hallways, expanding the cafeteria, and sprucing up the gymnasium. The district said the makeover was a challenge because construction was going on while 2,000 students were going to school.
The district said the school added more than 66,000 square feet of new construction and 109,000 square feet of renovations.
“I’ve been telling people that graduated from here, that taught here before, to come and see this grand opening," said Grace Lisenby, a biology teacher at the high school. "It is unrecognizable. It is just amazing. It was very much caught in the 60s. It was convoluted. It was confusing. The hallway structure was crazy.”
Lisenby, who has taught at GHS for 10 years, has spent the week putting together her new science lab classroom. She said her old room was cramped, hard for students to use and had leaky sinks.
“I am so excited to be teaching in this room because it’s really, it is so much better than what we had before. You can’t compare it," she said.
The school also added on a new reception area where administration is now housed. The library is extended to allow more natural light in.
Part of the upgrades include a wireless access point in the classrooms so students can connect their phones and tablets in class.
"I got a chance to be here a little bit in the spring and see the temporary walls up and see the small inconvenience the students and staff had to go through," said Principal Cade Smith. "It's an exciting time to come into a new old building."
Smith is also a new addition to the school. This will be his first year at the high school.
"Even though there are new parts to the building, it’s the same Georgetown, same traditions that we got going on here. And so those traditions are immediately going to overflow in those new areas, and we’re excited to keep the spirit alive," he said.
The grand reopening happens from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 2211 North Austin Avenue. There will also be free hot dogs and hamburgers.
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