The Winterset Community School District put on their Sunday best and invited members of the community to attend an open house to show off the upgrades, remodeling, and new construction recently completed in the district schools. With mitigation measures in place to provide a safe environment for attendees, the elementary, junior high, and high schools opened their doors to the public Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
Guests who entered the elementary were greeted by Principal Doug Hinrichs, who was standing next to the newly remodeled and repositioned front desk area.
“This whole area has been completely remodeled and relocated. I really like the placement of the new windows,” Hinrichs commented. “It is so much easier to see the buses when they arrive.”
From the front desk area visitors started their tour and were able to travel throughout the school to view the improvements. Student Council members participated as tour guides during the three-hour open house.
Stepping into the hallway to start their tour, visitors noted the mural on the wall covered with a multitude of positive words intended to start young students on the right foot as they traveled to their classrooms each day.
Most of the classrooms received a face lift with new carpet and fresh paint. Cabinets were added, providing storage for teachers and students; updated desks and chairs completed the package.
In the library area of the elementary, the balcony was removed and remodeled to include windows along the wall. A conference room was added to accommodate school meetings. Children will delight in the Superdogs mural which has taken over a majority of the wall space. The Mighty Write-E-O and his companion Book Girl (aka Paige Turner) motivate young readers with phrases such as “the pencil is mightier than the sword” and “reading has power”.
The bathrooms in the first grade pod area were improved with the addition of new sinks, paint, and flooring.
Having received the same updates as the other classrooms, preschoolers welcomed new computers and tablets for students to use.
The elementary school cafeteria received new tile flooring, even though it is not being utilized at this time due to mitigation procedures and social distancing. Currently students eat in their classrooms. Added next to the lunch room is a very convenient coat area with cabinet space above to hold lunch boxes.
Students will enjoy getting exercise on the new playground equipment, and can sit and relax on the picnic tables provided nearby.
Junior high and high schools
Superintendent Justin Gross and Assistant Principal Jeremy Hilbert were on hand just inside the doorway to greet visitors and send them on their way to tour the school. Attendees were asked to follow the blue arrows as they worked their way through the halls and around the school. In adherence to mitigation procedures and to keep things safe, those attending were asked to don a mask.
Traveling through the school on the junior high side, guests were able to peek inside the science room, which had been updated with school-wide new paint and flooring, in addition to new lab tables and storage cupboards.
Similar to the theme in the elementary school, murals painted in school colors containing positive inspiring words now adorn the walls above the student lockers.
Winding through the high school on the way to the competition gym, guests noticed that the square footage of the athletic weight room had almost doubled. Bright yellow weight benches can be seen on either side of the room. Spacious windows look out onto the school athletic fields.
A very long hallway connects the high school to the building housing the competition gym. As visitors get closer to the gym, along the wall are frames displaying the various sports, along with the current and past records for individuals, teams, and seasons.
Rounding the corner guests, will come upon the reception area outside the gym and find the expanded trophy case along the wall. Adjacent is the spacious concession area.
The competition gym is set to get rave reviews from athletes in the conference: the tremendous floor space with seating on either side will accommodate numerous fans. Banners above the scoreboard highlight various school sports and whether they have completed the season as conference champs or state qualifiers. Colorful banners on the opposite end of the gym list the teams who participate in the Raccoon River Conference.
Rounding out the tour, the cafeteria received some updated booths and high top tables, as well as a new mural with the Husky mascot present. The auditorium also received updated lighting, sound equipment, and new curtains.
At the close of the community open house, Winterset Elementary Principal Hinrichs and Superintendent Gross both thought the event had gone very well. Hinrichs noted that a lot of retired teachers visited during the day, and were very excited to see the new look.
Superintendent Gross wanted to commend all the individuals who were a part or the planning process that led to the passage of the bond issue.
“We now have facilities that our students, staff and community can be proud of,” said Gross. “While we will continue to have facility needs moving forward, the improvements that were accomplished with the latest remodel and renovation will serve our students well for years to come.”