By Chris Eversole
Mustang Public Schools are looking forward to the opening of the new high school science academy at the start of the new school year.
Construction of the modern building is progressing well, and the science academy will be completed in the spring, Assistant Superintendent Tracy Skinner said.
“We’re fortunate to be upgrading our existing science classrooms and labs,” Skinner said.
The new building will have high ceiling and durable floor needed for the chemistry, physical science and computer science classes.
It also will have a covered outdoor space available for projects.
The layout will include a “maker space” with equipment and computers available. “This open area will create opportunities for hands-on learning, which is essential in the teaching of science today,” Skinner said.
The existing science classrooms will be remodeled to provide new space for the biology department.
Science teachers helped design the new space. “They were an integral part of the planning from the beginning,” Skinner said.
“We have an amazing group of dedicated science faculty who keep up with new trends in teaching.”
The building is being constructed at an angle to make the best use of the site, which formerly was the P.E. Building.
The building project was made possible by a $180 million bond issue that voters approved in February 2017.
The site housed the high school’s original gym built in the 1940s. It wasn’t up to code and had outlived its usefulness, school officials said.
When the old gym was torn down more than a year ago, Pat Oltermann, local realtor and Mustang graduate, said it held many memories for her, but she welcomed the new science academy.
“Playing basketball, running the bleachers during practice, our senior play and, of course, graduation, are probably the main memories,” she said.
“However, I’m for progress. Right now, that gym is an eyesore on that beautifully updated campus at Mustang High School.”