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Great Falls

Feb 12, 2013 3:10 PM by Beth Beechie (beth@krtv.com)

Great Falls High School students, staff hope for renovations

GREAT FALLS - A task force for Great Falls High School is exploring the possibility of a nearly $60-million dollar makeover of the historic building.

They've re-done one classroom already but some students wish all the classrooms could already be updated.

Mary McDunn, a senior at GFHS, said, "It's really hard knowing that we have this iPad lab, that is what a classroom should look like now, but it's not what all of our classrooms look like."

Christine Baroch teaches AP English and says with her students' biggest project this semester, technology availability is crucial, but there are many other classes vying for the laptops and iPad lab: "It's a commodity that everyone wants and if my technology isn't working on a particular day, I can't bump another teacher off of that day. It's kind of a lost teaching day."

And outside the classroom, engineer Ray Lyons says that heating the building is another story in itself: "It's kind of by-guess and by-gosh how long do we leave the boilers on? Because we can't control it. It'd be like having your furnace on in your home, 24-7."

Lyons has been working and repairing parts of the high school for 30 years and knows it's important to stay on top of things which can be easier said than done when parts needed are 50 to 60 years old.

He said, "Plumbers, electricians, carpenters have a quite a battle a lot of times trying to fix things just to come up with the parts."

Students and faculty say they know a perfect building isn't possible, but what they hope for is an environment more conducive to learning for new students down the road.

Lyons said, "I think there's a tremendous amount of pride in this building and with the community. But as it's been said a lot needs to be done to bring it into the 21st century."

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