Brownfield high school students to start year in brand new facilities
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Brownfield high schoolers start the 2022-2023 school year Wednesday and will spend their first full year in brand new facilities. The district passed a $40 million bond in May 2019 to build the high school, and students moved in after Spring Break last year. This year, all of the school’s state-of-the-art amenities will be available to students.
The district hosted a ribbon cutting and an open house last weekend to let the community see the Cubs’ new campus. While Superintendent Chris Smith says the school’s large and modern gym is a big draw, it’s only scratching the surface.
“We had teachers in the hallways, kids in the hallways. It was an awesome night in BISD and the pride was so, so present, so prevalent, and it’s a good feeling as an educator, especially when you get to see how it all ends up,” Smith said. “It’s powerful ‘cause you go through the planning phase and everything else, and then you actually get to cut a ribbon on it and it’s amazing.”
Smith says the building was designed with intentionality, specifically to prepare high schoolers for life after graduation.
“What we’ve done is we’ve designed a school that prepares our students for the next, whatever comes next. And that includes going into a career, that doesn’t necessarily mean only if you go to college,” Smith said.
The state-of-the-art amenities include advanced welding, automotive and construction labs, a cosmetology suite, and a classroom to certify the next pharmacy technicians. Smith says through these Career and Technical Education courses, students can graduate with certifications, ready to enter the workforce.
The high school was built with an industrial design, exposed beams and sunlight cover the hallways. In the middle of the high school, there is a research lab, or what students call the ‘fish bowl,’ with two walls made from glass windows. The space is for STEM classes, where students do robotics and drone projects. GT student and junior Katie Richards enjoys her time in the classroom.
“I don’t even know how to explain it, but I just feel, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to school when you’re in there. Like it feels like you’re just like hanging out in this really cool place,” Richards said.
For the first time this year, students get to use a virtual reality welding simulator. It can simulate things like underwater welding, and as one student works, the others can watch through a screen. Smith says one of the school’s mottos is, ‘Big-time programs and a small-town feel.’ Instructional Coach Kelsey Lamprecht says those modern features will serve the district for years to come.
“It doesn’t feel like Brownfield. Every tour that I gave with my groups of teachers, every one of them was like, man, this does not feel like Brownfield. It feels like a college campus. It’s just so futuristic and it’s so modern,” Lamprecht said.
The building is also equipped with security vestibules, with bullet-resistant film on the windows and a lockdown feature in every classroom. Richards says it makes her feel more secure.
“I’m not super worried that bad things are going to happen, but I know that if they do, there’s a bunch of security measures put in place to where I know that me and my friends are going to be safe,” Richards said.
Smith says the district recognizes it still has a ways to go, but he loves how the new school will allow it to achieve the goals set in its vision.
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