Small towns don't change much over a short span of time, but my own hometown has had a major change this summer. If you revisit my August 2007 wild_photos post, you can see a nice photo of my school and current employer. But since that photo was taken, our school district has received a grant from the Ohio School Facilities Commission to have 66% of a new school paid for (the rest coming from our wonderful township taxpayers, myself included).
The original building was completed in 1923. A gymnasium and cafeteria were added in 1969 (and that's when my lab was redesigned and furnished). And then in 1999, a new addition with second (larger) gymnasium, office space, and class rooms was added. We started school early this past year and were out by May 7th. The auction was May 8th, and the old building sealed off on May 10th. This summer, the original '23 building and '69 additions were demolished. They will become the parking lot for the new building, which was built during the school year and is nearly complete.
So the town looks a bit different. Instead of this, you now see this:
The empty place where the original school once stood.
To the side of the '99 addition is the new building. Where the '99 addition connected to the '69 addition, they're sealing it off and making it look nice. They're also connecting it to the new building so students won't have to go outside to change classes. The new building is a single story, which makes a change from the 3-story building we had originally. Although I'm sad to see the original building go, I'm excited about the new building. And I get a new lab! Woohoo!
The new building in progress.
My room in the new building is in the center of this photo. The two floor to ceiling windows are on either side of the room (a little Bobcat is in front of one of these windows). The big double window is for our chemical storage room. And the room on the end, beside the '99 addition, will be biology/freshman science. (I teach chemistry and physics.)
If you want to see interior photos of the school, our superintendent has been taking many photos since the start of the project, and I've been putting them up on the school website. Check out the New Building Updates page if you want to see more.
Pretty much the rest of the town looks the same as my earlier entries, so I decided last week to get some photos from a nature preserve which is close to my town. Alas, you can't get there by walking (and expect to get home in a timely fashion), but it's a short drive (on Horseshoe Bend Road, which is aptly named!) Brukner Nature Center is a privately owned nature preserve which has a number of walking paths in the woods and some meadowland as well. A great place to take an afternoon walk on a slightly-cooler-than-today-was day.
Purple flower! (And insect.)
Maybe next time wild_photos opens up again, I'll redo the tour of the town to see what else has changed over time. (Or maybe I'll do the neighboring "Big City," where my parents moved to this last November. OK, elsaf & judiang, you two can stop laughing about the "big city.")