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Dedication to education: School renovations celebrated

Bremerton students Cody King, left,  Jamiere Abney, center, and Sharmin Dingle, right, join Superintendent Dr. Bette Hyde, BHS principal Aaron Leavell and members of the Bremerton School Board in displaying the expansion plaque. See more photos on page A13. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton students Cody King, left, Jamiere Abney, center, and Sharmin Dingle, right, join Superintendent Dr. Bette Hyde, BHS principal Aaron Leavell and members of the Bremerton School Board in displaying the expansion plaque. See more photos on page A13.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The Bremerton School District pulled out all the stops for the dedication ceremony for the additions and renovations at Bremerton High School Wednesday night. High schoolers provided entertainment by a string quartet and the jazz ensemble. The ROTC Jr. color guard presented the flag prior to the senior choir singing the National Anthem, and mouth-watering delights were prepared and presented by the staff and students of West Sound Tech. Students from the LINK Crew and the Skills USA Chapter were also on hand to give guided tours of the new areas of the school.

The dedication marked the opening of more than $15 million of improvements to the high school, made possible by the passing of a levy by Bremerton voters two years ago.

“We’ve all heard, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” Superintendent Dr. Bette Hyde said, “And it takes communities to build schools. None of this would have happened without you (the voters). This dedication is for you. This is your high school.”

The dedication ceremony took place in the student commons, which has unofficially become “the senior lounge.”

The commons is off the main lobby of the school, next to the auditorium, the gym and the newly remodeled main office.

Directly beneath the commons is the TV/Media Production Studio, which is next to the new choir rehearsal room. The production studio is a fully functioning television workshop, enabling the students to produce their own in-house programming. The choir room is acoustically tuned to perfection, and the new space allows an older area to be opened up to become a green room for the theater program.

Upstairs, the library was also revamped over the summer. A lab area in the library holds 30 computers, and another 30 monitors are spread throughout the rest of the library. Additional data ports are accessible through the floor, allowing another 90 or so laptops to be connected at any given time.

Behind the main building is a new physical education building, loaded with fitness machines donated by the Bremerton YMCA. Three new stationary bikes are also in place, courtesy of Tara Kirk and the Toyota Engines of Change program. Many other new cardio machines are coming as part of the $10,000 donation from Kirk. The new building also has a large storage area and an office for teachers.

Perhaps the most noticeable change is the new freshman academy located out in front of the main entrance. Sometimes considered the “science wing,” the freshman academy includes several state-of-the-art laboratories, plus a row of classrooms. The new addition is accessed from the lower level of the main building by way of a glass enclosed, roofed walkway. A learning courtyard lies between the buildings.

Much of the construction has taken place while learning has been going on, and it has meant some accommodations by students, teachers and staff.

“It has been tough to live through sometimes,” said BHS principal Aaron Leavell, “yet it’s been very exciting.”

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