The Emporia High School campus first opened in 1974 in an undeveloped area on the outskirts of town.
After two additions in 1992 and 2004, it is still often referred to as “the new high school.” Originally built for grades 10-12, the school now has more than 1,400 students (grades 9-12), teachers and support staff.
The 2019 bond proposal includes a fourth addition to the school, adding a new science wing on the north side of the building that will also serve as a high wind shelter. Classrooms in the 1992 addition on the west end will be renovated for new uses. Classrooms near the student commons, the Little Theater and the art and music rooms will be updated.
Principal Dathan Fischer is happy that the bond projects will affect many academic areas in the school, benefiting all students and teachers for generations to come.
“I know our music numbers continue to grow and our art classrooms are full every day,” Fischer said. “One area that changes on a regular basis and advances rapidly is science. Our hope is the new science area will allow for our students to begin learning and working with more modern-day resources and labs in their classrooms.”
The new wing will have 12 classrooms, jutting north from the current north building entrance. The space will be used for the lab sciences and allow for growth in the science-related career pathways classes, including biomedical, health science, plant and animal science and STEM. Enrollments in these Career and Technical Education classes are growing, and that trend is expected to continue.
“I believe anytime you are able to update facilities or build new to help improve the work our teachers can do with the students then that is exciting,” Fischer said. “Overall, I know that each of the projects will have a positive effect on many students and programs we offer here at EHS.”
Classrooms on the west end will be reconfigured and remodeled for new uses. One idea being considered is moving the special education classrooms, which currently operate out of several small rooms that accommodate up to eight students.
“The larger classroom space will increase the opportunity for more real-world experiences for these students based on their needs,” he said.
Safety and Security
A portion of the science wing will serve as a high-wind shelter with a capacity of 1,600 students and adults. Currently, only two of Emporia’s nine schools have high-wind shelters.
During storm drills, staff now directs most students to the east end of the building to the locker room and restroom areas.
“With the addition of a future shelter to help in dangerous weather situations, we can evacuate more efficiently and into one area instead of being spread throughout the building,” he said.
No changes are planned for the front entrance as EHS is in the final stages of installing a Level II secure entry through one door combined with a buzz-in system allowing visitors into the building through the main office. However, all new construction will be built with a focus on safety and security in mind, such as including power and network cable to allow for future door alarms or keyless entry systems.
The bond proposal includes upgrades to multiple aging building systems including water, electrical, HVAC and temperature controls. Major repairs also are scheduled for the pool, which was part of the original building in 1974.
The bond projects will provide these improvements at Emporia High School:
• An adequate storm shelter
• Enhanced access control for improved security
• Science wing addition
• Updated and modernized classrooms
• Renovations to art and music rooms
• Appropriate learning environments for all students based on their needs
• Update aging building systems
Open House for Stakeholders
Voters who have not been inside a school recently are encouraged to visit one of our upcoming open houses. Village, Logan Avenue, William Allen White, Maynard and Emporia Middle School will be open for tours and informal conversation on the following dates.
• 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
• 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Oct. 20