New Building Delivering State-of-the-Art Innovations

Conner Fowler, Reporter

The West Haven community will have a completely revamped high school by the fall of 2022, giving students new and innovative ways to learn.

When we open for school next year, the vast majority of the construction project will be complete, and the old building will be completely eliminated as far as occupancy. There will be a small part of the C-wing that will be renovated during the year, with final completion in the winter.

So far the project has delivered a state-of-the-art auditorium with sound boards, a lighting system and cat walks, as well as a jaw-dropping gymnasium, with brand-new interactive scoreboards, “Westie blue” wood floors and a modern weight room.

Elsewhere in the school, we have a new black box theatre, a new library with views of the Long Island sound, a school-based health center and climate-controlled classrooms that have interactive Promethean boards and surround sound. The cafeteria has an industry-grade pizza oven and culinary equipment you would find at a four-star restaurant. Beyond that, the graphics lab and auto shops also have industry-standard equipment.

The project was first announced in 2009, but didn’t officially begin until the spring of 2017 after some funding hurdles. The total cost of the project is $130 million and is mostly being paid for by the state.

From the outside, the school currently looks like something out of a Twilight Zone episode because you see the beautiful main entrance and entryway with all new decor, but peeking around the far corner is the old brick building.

Most West Haven High School students have been dealing with construction for the past three years, having to walk around and sometimes through it. This fall students are navigating through the combination of old hallways and new wings, which sophomore Dominic Konareski called a “corn maze of hallways.”

Keeping students working during these loud construction days can be hard. While taking a test a student may have to listen to a crane drive by.

“I live in a room that is part new and part old, which is interesting, seeing two wings connected to each other look completely different,” said science teacher Katherine McDevitt.

Students can see the transformation taking place as they walk from the C-wing, which is still the “old building,” to the newly constructed D-wing, which is in the same hallway but has brand-new lockers and state-of-the-art classrooms.

Principal Dana Paredes said that since the project is under budget, they have been able to add some features into the plan, like bottle-filling stations, a patio for outdoor seating and upgraded walls and sidewalks.

The students in West Haven are mostly doing a good job keeping spirits up as they do go to school in an active construction zone. Soon West Haven will have a brand-new school to enjoy for generations.