The Lowell community was treated to an open house on Tuesday evening to see the newly-finished renovations at Lowell Middle School. After three years of construction, the building was dedicated to current and future sixth through eighth graders and their teachers as a place where learning can continue to thrive.
As construction was going on around them, the middle school community has seen completely new areas of the building come to life, including an entire second floor dedicated to eighth grade classrooms and lockers.
LMS Principal Abby Wiseman said at the dedication that she is very excited about the renovations, mostly because the approximately 780 middle school students and their teachers will finally have the facility they deserve.
“They’ve been receiving state-of-the-art education with wonderful teachers, but they now have a building that matches the education that they’ve been getting,” she said. “[The building is] one that really allows them to maximize their learning experiences.”
Wiseman said among her favorite part of the renovations is the overall “openness” of the building.
“We are able to separate into pods for different learning,” she explained, “and we also have this really great big open building where collaboration can happen and community can happen.”
Wiseman added that a special touch in the renovation is that the old media center beams were left in the foundation and can be seen in the sixth grade area.
“So you have a touch of the old in with the new,” she said.
LAS Superintendent Nate Fowler spoke at the dedication just before the ribbon cutting and praised the construction and design of the building’s large and bright areas that are made for “collaboration.”
Fowler also said all LAS classrooms are now equipped with air conditioning.
“That’s been a long time coming, and it’s really helped facilitate learning and deal with all of the elements that we have here in Lowell,” he said.
Fowler thanked a slew of people who were involved in the construction, design, and maintenance of the building. He also pointed out that the students and staff carried on with learning and teaching while a building was literally deconstructed and renovated around them.
“Staff and students… Over the past three years they’ve had to demonstrate patience, a lot of flexibility, (and) we’ve had a pandemic that we’ve been dealing with, and construction on top of that.”
Fowler noted that some teachers had to move their classrooms multiple times, the staff spent a year without a main office, and students spent time without a cafeteria.
“There was a lot of flexibility that went into making this happen,” he said.
Wiseman also commended the students and staff for their flexibility and resilience during the renovation. She said student learning has not been negatively impacted by the construction because of the excellent teaching staff.
“It didn’t matter what environment we put them in, learning never stopped,” Wiseman said.
“(It’s) been nothing less than remarkable,” she added. “Now giving them a space to truly have their visions of teaching and learning come to life is pretty amazing.”
“This is one of the most amazing middle school buildings that I have ever been in,” according to Wiseman. “It is a place where learning can thrive, collaboration can happen, and our kids can be the center of what we do.“