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Posted on Dec 11, 2018

The next Quincy High School: A look inside

No longer a dream, not quite a reality, the facilities of the future Quincy High School continue to grow.
From the outline of the baseball diamond visible from the main building’s second floor, to the green screen of the video production class and the orchestra pit next to the stage, little by little, more elements add to what should be a complete school by June 2019.
“It really blows the kids away when they see it,” said Quincy superintendent of public schools John Boyd. “They look at it and say, ‘You’re building all this for us? This is for us?’”
Much of the new construction is now recognizable. The classrooms look like classrooms, with light fixtures and cabinets along the side. The theater looks like a theater, with a sturdy stage facing a slope that one day will house rows of seats. The gym is not quite there yet, but its walls and roof are in place, outlining a cavernous space. The football field already has a place for its state-of-the-art scoreboard, which will be purchased with substantial financial support from the booster club and the Quincy Rotary.
“Instead of a regular scoreboard we are going to have a video scoreboard,” Boyd said. “It’s gonna be fun.”
The academic wing and the Career and Technical Education wing are already connected by what Boyd termed a circulation bridge.
“Not a skybridge. A skybridge is an aesthetic feature. A circulation bridge has a function,” he said. The building is equipped to house up to 1,150 students without having to share classrooms, with that number going up to 1,300 with classroom-sharing. In its first year, the new school will have an enrollment of about 800 students; so the building should last a while before reaching capacity.
The current performing arts center seats about 300 people. The new PAC will seat about 500, and it will contain such items as a fly loft – a system of weights and counterweights that allows scene sets to be moved safely and quickly.

Superintendent John Boyd shows a science lab in the new Quincy High School.
Photo by Dave Burgess/Post-Register

The classrooms will be equipped with technology that will allow them to harvest light from the outside and reduce energy consumption. The school will have a single point of entry, and at bell time, all the doors to the outside can lock automatically.
All these amenities comprise a complex that Boyd and the rest of the district leadership hoped would be “nice but not too extravagant, and I think we have hit that mark pretty well,” Boyd said.
Asked how that future scoreboard fits those hopes, he said, “We want what the community wants, and the community wanted a video scoreboard to be able to do something extra for the kids. I don’t think it’s extravagant, I think it’s special.”
With the hostile weather around the corner, the work will continue during winter, said Boyd, a former principal at Seattle’s Chief Sealth High School.
While at Chief Sealth, Boyd’s building underwent a major renovation, and when the new building reopened, he saw how student achievement spiked.
“The (students’) feelings about themselves and their worthiness goes up,” he said. “And they get better results.”
One result that can already be seen is how the building pays tribute to the community that made it possible. The mixture of steel and brick is no coincidence, Boyd said, adding that since Quincy has a slogan of “Where Agriculture Meets Technology,” they wanted to do something similar when building the school.

By Sebastian Moraga,