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February 17, 2004 > Newark Memorial High School Struts Its Stuff!

Newark Memorial High School Struts Its Stuff!

Unveiling of Multipurpose Gymnasium

On Thursday, February 5th, Newark Memorial High School (NMHS) officially opened the doors of its new Events Center to public view. Impressive is an understatement as those attending were invited to look at the 44,947 square foot structure that not only can host athletic contests and social events but also accommodate the entire school population for assemblies and provide additional classroom space too! Curriculum Instruction Administrator Michael J. Pittner comments that in the past, an awkward schedule of multiple assemblies of the student body was required since there was no facility on campus that could house the student body - almost 2200 students - at one time (Events Center capacity 2,576 seats).

The Events Center is a unique facility where seating can retract to allow more room for Physical Education Classes or gatherings on the main floor and allows the second floor risers to contract forward creating space on both sides of the main area for additional gymnasium space including basketball hoops. Downstairs, besides the main floor, a flexible classroom that can be divided into two small or one large room, locker rooms and offices line the sides of the building.

This was one of a group of new facilities that have expanded instructional capacity and catapulted this local high school to a technologically advanced status. The first of the new buildings, a 25,000 square foot "Technology Center," opened in October 2002. It houses computer labs, some of which host a Media Communication Academy, and space for a digital photography class. The center also houses a television studio, recording/editing rooms, a small audio recording room and a large multipurpose room for the STAR (Science, Technology, Arts and Research) Lab.

The multipurpose room can serve as a planetarium for an Astronomy class one day (a unique inflatable planetarium can project constellations on its curved ceiling) and be home to a Robotics, Rocket Propulsion, or Marine Biology class the next. Journalism classes also meet in designated spaces to prepare the yearbook and school newspaper. A science "wet lab" including water and gas outlets rounds out the facility. Students have responded enthusiastically to the new environment and science and technology classes have expanded dramatically since the center opened. It appears that a previous Newark school bond measure put money in the right place with an understanding that current technologic and scientific skills are the key to a bright future for their students.

At approximately the same time that the Technology Center was being completed, NMHS expanded its cafeteria facilities to become "The Commons." No longer just a cafeteria, this multipurpose room can now seat over 800 students and provide food outlets for additional students who prefer to sit outdoors. The room can be used for student gatherings including film or video presentations using a 20 foot, floor to ceiling screen that can be lowered electronically.

In addition, an expansion of the theater complex included six new classrooms and a practice facility for dance and theatre.

As Mr. Pittner says, "It is amazing what our high school has to offer." He adds that many people who come to visit the campus and tour the facilities comment that they wish these types of things were available when they went to school. "It is just awesome what these students have a chance to learn here."

Go Cougars!

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