H-BC high school at new location
HILLS -- The Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots found a new home when high school staff and students relocated to a brand new building late last year.
The school sits on a 50-acre farm land previously owned by Joan and Segundo Velasquez.
Superintendent Dave Deragisch explained 40 of the 50 acres were purchased by the school district. The remaining 10 acres were donated by the owners.
"Students and staff have enjoyed it," said Deragisch, adding the building opened Oct. 25. "We've had a good time so far."
A vibrant blue cafetorium (cafeteria-auditorium) at the entrance is filled with picnic-style round tables. To the left of the area is a stage.
"We've had a play on two different nights, a band concert and a choir concert," Deragisch said of the cafetorium, which seats up to 300 people.
A media center, two computer labs and nine classrooms form a horseshoe on right side of the building.
One of the computer labs is designated for class use, while the other is kept open throughout the day for students to work individually.
"The classrooms are all the same size at approximately 900 square feet," Deragisch said. "Every classroom has a SMART Board."
A gymnasium and specialty classrooms, that include an agriculture shop and industrial arts shop, take up the remaining space on the left.
In March 2010, voters in the school district passed a bond referendum of $9.9 million that funded the purchase of the land and construction of the new school.
"We've been planning for a new building for a number of years before we went to the voters," Deragisch said. "We knew that if we wanted to continue to have a high school, we needed to build a new high school. We looked at remodeling, but the cost of remodeling a 1921 building wasn't feasible."
Deragisch explained the former high school had heating, plumbing and basic safety issues among other concerns.
"Our heating system was not stable at all," he said. "We spent a lot of money to not only heat the building but (to) keep the boiler running."
At 76,500 square feet, the new high school was constructed to be eco-friendly. Its features include geothermal heating and cooling systems, motion-sensor lighting and low-flow toilets that use significantly less water to flush.
"We hope it will be a cost saving for the residents many years down the road," he said. "I feel really good about what we have here."
Hills-Beaver Creek High School currently has 25 staff members and 175 students.