By Matt Cohen
At this time just a year ago the construction site outside B-CC was just land being leveled out. There had been no foundation yet laid out for the renovation. Students still entered in and out of the main entrance.
Now, the main entrance is nearing its reopening, and outside the front of the school, the renovation is lined with brick, and interior work is well underway.
Much of the exterior work of the building is done, but what can’t be seen is what has been accomplished in the interior of the building. Construction site manager Kenneth Thompson gave The Tattler an exclusive look at the inside of what will soon be a functioning wing of B-CC, and what is soon to be the new main entrance to B-CC.
“It’s dramatic,” Thompson said on how much progress has been made on the building. “Especially when you look at photos of when we came out of the ground, and where we are now. It takes a really good effort to get as much done as quickly as possible.”
The main entrance to the school was torn down midway through last school year. This was done so that the connecting hallways could be built from the new building to the current one. There will be connecting hallways on each the first, second and third of the new building, these connecting hallways will run along what used to be the outside wall of the small gym. In fact, what used to be the outside wall of the current building is currently, and will remain the inside wall of the connecting hallway according to Thompson, just as some portions of exposed brick were kept during B-CC’s original renovation.
Thompson said that the construction remains on schedule, and plans to reopen the front entrance in January will be met. Doors are already being put into the main entrance. The facing of the new main entrance will contain many large windows, in order to let in natural light. Once the main entrance reopens, winter sports can return to the gym, giving Barons fans a chance to watch their team’s on their home floor.
Students walking into the building everyday can see from the outside that the main entrance is beginning to come together. However, what cannot be seen is the work that has been done inside the exterior walls.
The floor plan is largely in place inside the building. The hallways and stairways have been constructed. Now, Thompson said that the biggest priority the team has, outside of the main entrance, is above ceiling work. Once work is completed above the ceiling, the rest of the interior work can be done. Right now, most of the walls in the building are just cement blocks with no paint. The walls of classrooms and hallways will all get paint. The only walls that already have some form of decor on them is the bathrooms. As shown in the photo spread, the
bathrooms already have tiles up on the walls.
One of the most impres- sive parts of this new building is the space that it provides. Not only will it alleviate some hallway traffic as students will be more spread out, but the individual classroom spaces in the new building are large. Seemingly every classroom in the new building has as much, if not more space than what the current classrooms have. The renovation will give B-CC 34 big classroom spaces. This will provide B-CC to provide addition course offerings that it previously couldn’t have. “Right now I don’t think we let Freshman take ceramics because we don’t have space. This helps expand out offerings,” Dr. Jones said.
Another impressive feature of the new building is the dance studio. The dance studio is a two story room located on the corner of the north face of the building, with one side facing the football field and the other facing Chelton Road. The studio will be a very fun space in the building, serving as both a place for dancers, but also as a hangout spot for students at lunch. The studio has a balcony looking down onto the floor, and large steps to sit on.
Because stairways of the current building will not connect to those of the new building, Dr. Jones said that passing time between classes may have to be increased in order to give a student who might be in the fourth floor of the current building heading to the first floor of the new building a chance to get to class without being late.
The renovation is making real progress. The main entrance will be reopened soon, and just a few months down the road, the new building will be open for classes. It won’t be long before Barons are cheering for their teams in the gym, and it won’t be long before the new hallways will be lined with members of an ever growing Baron community.