By Christine Baker, TSB Staff
The parking lot has expanded and the old familiar porch has been torn down.
If you drive by McKinney High School and see the construction zone, you might not recognize it. That’s because MHS is getting renovated in a project that should be completed by the end of 2013.
“After the bond was passed we got the okay to remodel MHS,” Director of Construction Corey Gililland said. “The school has been around since 1986, and the we wanted to remodel the building completely so that you couldn’t look at one area and say, ‘Oh yeah that’s part of the old building.’ We want everything to be the same.”
The school currently has 2,115 students while the new building will be able to hold 3,000 students. Part of the expansion includes updated technology and classrooms.
“There will be new art and science labs and extra classrooms.” Gililland said. “We want everything to be wireless so we can use updated technology and make things easier. We also want to make the school more open by adding more windows to make it brighter.”
The new additions will positively affect programs such as cosmetology, woodshop, the agriculture program, and many others. However, a popular question these days is what will happen to the porch?
“Where the porch was will be more offices for administration,” Gililland said. “Where the old check-in office was at the front can now be used as more classroom space. This will make it easier for people to check into the building directly instead of having to buzz them in and hope they see the front desk around the corner.”
Remodeling MHS postpones a fourth high school from being built, along with the re-zoning process that will certainly occur at that time. However, MHS is not the only school that is being renovated, Faubion Middle School and eventually McKinney North High School will be worked on as well.
“Faubion’s renovations are also part of the bond,” Gililland said. “We are adding more parking, a new band hall, library and labs. The upgrade will allow FMS to have a capacity of 1,500 students, which is the standard size for a middle school.”
“North will also be expanded to have a 3,000-student capacity, but the changes will be minor.” Gililland said. North opened in 2000, while the city’s newest high school, McKinney Boyd, opened in 2006.
Editor’s Note: The top photo accompanying the story is generated to show what the finished product should look like. The construction photos were provided by Stuart J. Pearlman.