During the decision making phase regarding other buildings, a commitment was made to make improvements to Newton High School that included Career and Technical Education classrooms and additional gymnasium space. As a reminder, when the high school was built Title IX (which expanded girls' sports among other things) was in its infancy. When Newton High School was designed there may not have been a clear understanding of the impact Title IX would have on the sports opportunities for girls or how that would change the needs for gymnasium and locker room space. So that was 20 years, two-thirds of a generation later, when improvements were made.
In 2007, another upgrade was planned for Newton High School. The improvements included a state-of-the-art vocational agriculture and buildings construction building; additions to other Career and Technical Education programs - machining, automotive, and welding; addition of a media center and administrative center on the front of the building; and remodeling of the space vacated in the center of the building (old media center and administrative offices) into classroom space. However, for whatever reason, the original 1974 classroom space was NOT remodeled or renovated.
Since 1974, graduation requirements have changed and more mathematics and science courses are required for every student; electives for music, art, and drama have increased; the career and technical education courses have increased and changed. For example, home economics has evolved from a mostly "course for girls" to culinary arts designed to introduce students to potential future careers. However, if you step into Mrs. Jeffery's classroom it will be like time travel - you will step back to 1974 home kitchen space rather than a commercial kitchen that you would find at the Meridian Center.
So, now 10 years after the last set of improvements, community and staff members are being asked to consider a new facilities plan. A plan that honors the commitment of the community to be responsible for what we have and providing exceptional opportunities for our students. For the last year and a half community members and staff members have been focusing attention on the future and what education practices and opportunities are desired and now 43 years, a generation and a half after the high school was opened, opportunities for educating the next generation in the academic space at Newton High School have been identified. The improvements will enhance instructional opportunities for students with up-to-date science classrooms, improved air quality, new heating and cooling, noise reduction in classrooms, and better lighting - to name just a few of the improvements. It will make a difference for a new generation of students! Go Railers!!