More Progress on Marion High School Project

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By Evie Allen

MARION -- Construction continues in Marion on the high school.

School administrators say they're ending year two of a five-year project. They expect to have one of their major facilities open this fall.     

It's been almost two years since Marion High School first broke ground. A growing student population has created a need for expansion.

"We were kind of outdated in terms of infrastructure, in terms of technology, and the new building is going to allow us to catch up," says Vice-Principal Jason Varner.      

Varner says the new facility will look and feel just like a university. The building is currently very long and spread out. The new space will be two stories high.

"We'll be short and stocky as opposed to long and lean," says Varner.

They had hoped to have the health education center ready when school starts in August. But due to the harsh winter and wet spring, the timeline has been pushed back.

"It's going to be a really nice, very functional building for us," laughs Varner.

The building will be for physical education classes with an indoor track. There will also be space overlooking the football field.

"There will be locker rooms for football teams and soccer teams. Our wellness center will also be housed there once it's completed," he says.

The school's two gymnasiums are also undergoing major changes. The space known as the Blue Gym will become the student center and cafeteria. The library will be on the top floor of the new administration building facing Wildcat Drive. 

"We wish we could snap our fingers and they would be done tonight, but we know it requires a little patience and that's what we're trying to do," says Varner.

Varner says it will be awhile before the two wings that house the nearly 90 classrooms are complete.

"Right now it's just a picture on a piece of paper but talking to the architects and the construction guys, it's so exciting."

The health education building should be open by October. Classrooms won't be ready until fall 2015.

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