DHS welcomes new renovations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DHS welcomes new renovations

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dougherty Comprehensive High School is getting a major makeover. Students are already taking advantage of the first part of the renovations as school officials get ready to begin the next phase.

Dougherty High's band has a reason to be upbeat. They're practicing in the brand new wing of the school.

"The kids are excited to use the new space, we have a lot of new rooms," said Band Staffer Robert Ausby. "They do a lot of rehearsals in those rooms. And they're really excited about using the new wing. And it's great that they have it actually, because like I said, we didn't have that before."

Dougherty High, which specializes in performing arts, has been getting a major makeover. "We had people scattered everywhere," Ausby said. "Band was here, chorus here, orchestra was in another area. Dance room was used in the old weight room. None of this was here."

Now this wing encompasses all of the fine arts. "All of us are in one area, so we see each other a lot, more than we have before, because of the space that we were limited to."

This is the first phase of the renovation, which began 16 months ago. "We constructed about 35,000 new square feet of the building. We built 2D and 3D art room, a band room, chorus, orchestra, keyboard lab, dance, drama and a black box theatre," said Bob Fowler, Dir. of Facilities Service Dept.

The auditorium also got new seats and lighting. Phase two of the project is expected to begin in September. "We're going inside the building and renovating all the classrooms. They'll get new lights, new air conditioning, new paint, new flooring. It'll be just like a brand new building when we get finished," said Fowler.

That should take 18 to 20 months to complete. Until then, students will have class at Dougherty Middle school, which was closed at the end of last school year. "The biggest reason we do these renovations is just to upgrade the 20 or 30 year old finishes, air conditioning, and make the building a lot nicer for the students to provide a better learning environment really."

The entire project will cost about $33 million, paid with state funding and SPLOST money. School board members are expected to approve the final bid for phase two during their August 12th meeting.

Renovations at Monroe High School are expected to begin next summer.

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