BELLEVILLE Work is coming to a close on a large expansion of the Belleville Henderson Central School building that will provide more space for science, engineering, technology and mathematics education.
The 8,086-square-foot barn space area, built off an old entrance to the building, will include a greenhouse, animal holding areas and space to help students learn how to safely maintain agricultural machinery.
This takes our culture, which is agriculture, and then takes it to that next level of science technology, Superintendent Rick T. Moore said.
An expanded wing leading to the building addition also includes a pair of expanded art classrooms, a trio of science classrooms and new restroom facilities.
After the project is completed, Mr. Moore said, he hopes to talk to leadership of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services about offering an expanded agriculture program that would take advantage of the larger space.
Mr. Moore gushed over the green elements of the expansions design. Among the improved aspects are geothermal heating pipes and photovoltaic panels. Energy costs are expected to go down with improved insulation, high-efficiency lighting and thicker window panes. New vestibules will be added to exits to provide better insulation.
The added space is the culmination of years of improvements, beginning with the replacement of the schools roofing, which started in 2007. Construction of the $8 million building was funded by leveraging building aid with state merger aid, which Mr. Moore said allowed the work to be done without raising additional school taxes.
Mr. Moore said he hoped the expansion would be completed by October. Before that, tours of the new space will be held during the schools community agriculture fair, scheduled for Saturday.