YHS students and staff will shuffle around project

It will be a different kind of school year, once again, at Yuma High School.
“We’re trying to believe it will not be as chaotic as last year, but it might be for different reasons,” Principal Brady Nighswonger said earlier this week. “We’ll stay positive and hope everything goes smoothly.”

The 2021-22 school year begins Tuesday, September 7 — a normal-than-later start due to Yuma School District-1’s $32 million expansion/renovation project, which mainly is focused on YHS.
Staff and students do not have to worry about temperature checks, wearing masks,

A picture from the storage mezzanine of the new vo-ag education building at YHS. (Pioneer Photo)
quarantining and other COVID-19 related hassles like last year.
However, now everyone will have to be navigating around the final months of the building project.
The new wing, including classrooms and administrative offices, will be open for the start of school.
After spending a school year walking all the way from the football parking lot to the school, staff and students now will be parking in the new main lot in front of the new wing. There will be one main entrance, helping with security.
Science and Ag classes will be in the new wing, along with one Social Studies classroom, and one for Family And Consumer Studies.
However, the other classrooms will be spread out a bit.
The two classrooms on the old Ag building will be used for English, while the three math classrooms will be located in the Yuma Northeastern Junior College campus located across 10th Ave.
“We’re going to be spread out like a college campus,” Nighswonger said.
Ironically, one of the goals for the project was to get everything finally under the same roof, which will eventually happen when the project is completed early in the second semester.
A window in one of the new science classrooms has a view right down Main St. (Pioneer Photo)
The “old” part of YHS is now undergoing its renovation.
There are some areas, though, that will be ready for the start of the school year.
The band and art rooms have been renovated will be ready to go when school begins. The new library and business lab (which are located where the old main offices and old library used to be) will be accessible.
The auditorium can be accessed from the art/band hallway.
The Aux Pit and weight room will be in use for P.E.
The rest of the “old” part will be completely closed off while undergoing renovation. Even the Commons is inaccessible for a time while it is renovated.
However, there will be secure, temporary hallways for students and staff to access the art and band hallway and the Aux Pit.
Staff members roll in a cabinet in one half of the renovated art room at YHS. (Pioneer Photo)

Volleyball is the only indoor sport in the fall, so all the action will be in The Pit. The venerable gym, which was installed with hand rails in the aisles over the summer, will be accessed only from the outside. School administration will reveal how that is going to be handled prior to the volleyball team’s home opener on September 9.
As for the new wing, most furniture was moved in last week, and more was to be done earlier this week.

Staff were scheduled to start moving in on Wednesday of this week, September 1. A moving business was hired to move in all furniture, desks and such, so teachers will just have to worry about their classroom items.
Those using the old Ag classrooms and the ones at NJC-Yuma, already have moved into those rooms.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Nighswonger said of opening school in the new wing. “We’ve been having walk-throughs on Wednesdays for quite some time now. It’s an amazing place. I’m excited for our staff and students to get in there and see it.”