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Thursday, May 5, 2016

DHS unveils newly renovated building to the community

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A construction worker adds the Dyersburg High School lettering to the fašade of the building last month. The new renovations allow DHS to open its library before and after school hours and allows for ADA access to the library with the addition of an elevator.
The new fašade of Dyersburg High School blends the school's 1971 style with 2012 architecture.
Dyersburg High School hosted the Kiwanis Club lunch on Wednesday afternoon in the school's library as the first of two community lunches to unveil the school's new renovations to the community. The event was the first opportunity for the public to catch a glimpse of the improvements to the high school that were begun in June of this year. The new fašade allows access to the library without having to enter the school. In addition, the school installed an elevator to make the library ADA-accessible as well as the first ADA-compliant bathrooms in the school. (DHS was built in 1971 and was grandfathered in to the ADA-compliant laws.)

"Our students can now come in and work on their assignments into the evening and not impact the rest of the school," said Principal Jon Frye. "We are really enjoying the updates to our facility."

City School Superintendent Neel Durbin told a library full of Kiwanis Club members, city school board members and teachers, both current and retired that the school system has explored the possibility of renovating the high school or building a new one at a different location. He says the estimates for a new school came back at approximately $42 million and that did not include the purchase of new land and the demolition of the current school. With a structurally sound building, the school system decided to renovate the high school at its current campus.

Work is done to the interior of the building as tiles are laid out to reflect the letter 'D'. The latest renovations are the second of a five-part plan that include renovations to the chemistry labs, stadium and gymnasium.
"This building is 42 years old," said Durbin. "They had the foresight to build it right."

"We have a 12-year, $12 million plan that will take us into the future," continued Durbin. "Most people will think this renovation was done because it looks good, but really it was done for safety and ADA compliance."

Durbin recounted the five-part plan for the school, two parts of which have already been completed. The first part was the replacement of the boiler and chiller in the school's basement. After servicing the school for 40 years, it was time for new HVAC units and thanks to the timely announcement of a $500,000 loan from the Energy Efficient Schools Initiative, the school was able to replace the units earlier this year. According to Durbin, the loan includes zero percent interest for 10 years and the cost savings generated by the new units will more than pay for the loan.

Those in attendance on Wednesday were sitting at the heart of the second part of renovations. However, this phase of improvements also included the replacement of all the windows in the high school, expanded parking at the front of the school and a newly designed east entrance for enhanced security purposes.

DHS Principal Jon Frye said his school is enjoying the renovations and believes the extended library access will make the school even better. Frye says the library will be open to students until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday beginning shortly after Thanksgiving.
"The order of the renovations was decided by safety, cost savings and ADA compliance," said Durbin. "We're going to get it all done, it may just take a little time."

The remaining three phases include renovations to the school's chemistry lab, stadium and gymnasium and building a barn for the FFA program. Durbin says he would like to move the current chemistry lab from the second floor down to the first floor so that in the event an accident occurs students could safely exit the building. Also in a cost-saving maneuver, Durbin says that the stadium will be converted to turf, which will save on maintenance and will make the field safer. He noted that the change could increase the number of events held at the stadium from 25 to 100.

Durbin commented that he is continuing with his plans to complete these improvements without a taxpayer increase, noting that recent increases were a necessity of the economic times, but he thought the renovations could be completed within the school system's yearly budget. He also noted that he believes that Dyersburg is a growing community and he wants to support that growth and not take away from it. He told the audience that businesses like Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-a, Lowe's and Big LOTS! do not come to communities they believe are dying.

City School Superintendent Neel Durbin (far left) converses with Forcum Lannom Designer and International Director Ryu Fukami (second from left) and a few DHS students during the luncheon on Wednesday.
In order to support the costs of the next phase or renovations Durbin announced that the school would be selling memoriam bricks to be placed at the front of the high school. The cost and category of the bricks is as follows:

*Gold Zone - $5,000 and up donation
*Black Zone - $1,000 to $4,999 donation
*Trojan Zone - $200 donation for 8-by-8 brick
*Trojan Zone- $100 donation for 4-by-6 brick

"Dyersburg can become a destination community, not an exit community," said Durbin. "We would like to look at this as an investment in the youth and this region."

For more photos on this event please visit our photo galleries section.

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I will invest to assist being an alumni and my children also being alumni however the new front entrance has got to be one of the most unsightly entrances I have ever seen. The original design looked better.

-- Posted by HiredGun on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 9:35 AM

We are spending $12,000,000.00 as an inventment in the youth, and yet they aren't important enough to be named in the photo's caption?

-- Posted by Parkview on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 9:36 AM

I'm with sheepdog!

-- Posted by citizen_teacher on Sat, Nov 17, 2012, at 11:37 PM

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