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Oct 21, 2018
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

Building Our 2nd Century: Renovations Referendum

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Grand Opening Ceremony draws in more than 150 people to celebrate and tour new STEAM addition

On Wednesday, Sept. 6 Superintendent Patrick McGrath along with Board members, local dignitaries, and high school students cut the maroon and white ribbons to officially mark the opening of the high school's new state-of-the-art STEAM addition. After the speeches and ribbon cutting residents were invited to tour the faciity and see all the new technology. 

New state-of-the-art facility brings advanced opportunities to students, staff

Over the past several years, all BH-BL schools have undergone various upgrades and modernizations or construction as part of the 2013 voter-approved referendum. The most recently completed project is the new Science,
Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) addition at the high school. This is the single largest project undertaken by the district since the construction of the middle school in 1961.

The state-of-the-art facility elevates the high school and district to a whole new level by adding high-tech classrooms and labs for hands-on and interactive work in such areas as advanced manufacturing, industrial engineering, robotics, electronics, computer science, graphic design, applied math, 2-D and 3-D art, computer-aided design (CAD), and digital music.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer our students and faculty advanced technology and learning spaces that better align with the digitized world we live in,” says BH-BL High School Principal Tim Brunson. “The new facilities will help us further enhance our course offerings, introduce our students to collegiate-level technology, and put us on the map for
having a cutting-edge high school of the future.”

High-tech classrooms

The new wing is home to 18 high-tech classrooms (there is also one in the library and seven at the middle school) that put the latest instructional technology at teachers’ fingertips through the use of district-designed SmartHubs. The hubs are similar in style to lecterns but include a touchscreen monitor and digital control panel to easily engage such devices as:

  •  high-definition, interactive projectors and document cameras that allow teachers and students to edit each other’s screens across the wireless network and display objects or documents from the monitor onto a large-screen whiteboard. For example, astudent could share computer code she wrote on her computer to a projector. The teacher could then annotate with an electronic pen over the image projected on the touch-enabled whiteboard;
  • high-definition cameras for live broadcasting or lecture captures, allowing teachers to record lessons for remote broadcast or archive for homework review and studying;
  • and video conferencing and distance learning equipment such as cameras, microphones, speakers, etc. to connect classrooms with guest speakers or take virtual field trips anywhere around the world.
    The new classrooms also feature modern-day furniture that’s more suitable for today’s learning environment. The tables and chairs can easily be adjusted to accommodate different class assignments and lessons. For example, teachers who shift between collaborative and individual work might need to create a lab-style space where desktops are raised so students can stand behind them to work.

“These are just a few of the many potential conveniences that will be offered in the model classrooms,” adds Brunson. “And nearly every high school student will take at least one class in the STEAM addition and, therefore, will be able to experience and benefit from the advanced technology.”

Read more about:

New Computer Science Studio models college, workplace settings

High school library evolves into 21st-century Learning Commons

New Design & Technology Center prepares students for future

Sophisticated art classrooms support collaboration, creativity

Black box theater expands opportunities for students, community

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