Kennedy construction reaching the finish line

By Yukari Plagmann & Alicia Lee, Clarion Staff Reporters

Since Thanksgiving Break, 2019, John F. Kennedy High School has seen extensive construction and renovations all around campus. Although COVID-19 has caused major changes to this academic school year, the construction itself has seen few problems and has been a success all-around.

This year-and-a-half long modernization of the campus was split into two phases: the first covering the music facilities, behavior office, and Athletic Director’s office, and the second covering the A-Wing, the parking lot, and the front of the school on Gloria Drive. 

According to David Van Natten, Kennedy principal, Phase One has been 99% completed since mid-August, 2020. 

“They’re still coming back and making adjustments here and there… it’s little things like adjustments to the air conditioning,” Van Natten said.  

“They chipped one of the countertops in the front office during installation so they had to order a new one which took several weeks. Stuff like that that just happens with a project this size.” 

Phase Two has also been smooth sailing.  Van Natten said the project will be close to fully completed by the end of January, 2021. 

“The assistant principal and the counselors will be able to move in on January 4. The music team has already moved in.” For the most part, those in the V-wing will also have already moved in by January 4. 

COVID has not caused delays or major impacts on the construction.  As it turns out, an empty campus has actually been beneficial for the construction. 

“There have been certain parts of the project where they have to turn all the water off or the electricity off… or they had to spend an hour testing all of the alarms… It has made scheduling easier for [the workers].” 

The only other change for construction workers is the series of basic protocols such as daily handwashing, temperature checks, wearing masks, and physical distancing. 

Overall, Van Natten says that the school looks much more welcoming now and thinks students will find it to be a much nicer experience. 

As a final note he adds: “It is very weird being here this long on a campus this large with no students. We miss the students… but hopefully we will see each other very soon.”

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