NEWTOWN SQUARE–Marple Newtown High School's (MNHS) three-year renovation project is finally nearing its end.
MNHS principal Ray McFall said the auditorium is the last of the 13-phase, $58 million project that included updates like sound-proof recording studios and better storage for band, a lunchroom that holds 500 instead of 300, a kiln, a playground for the preschool and an extended gymnasium.
"Just as you're finishing a house you're going to want to do the detail work, the real fine work, last so it doesn't get destroyed during renovations," he said. "The auditorium is just about done [and] we have our first [Future Business Leaders of America Club] event in there on Nov. 29."
During the entire project, the last year's worth of work has been the least drastic, McFall said, citing when the school had to open late due to renovation setbacks. The last three phases were upgrades to the art rooms, the basement where the tech rooms are and the auditorium.
There was also some worries along the way about the $2.5 million contingency fund, but the district overcame those issues.
"The students and the teachers, it was enduring going through the renovation," he said. "Finally, everyone was able to settle into their permanent home in about October because some people had been in three classrooms in the course of three years."
Overall, McFall said the big upgrades were the ventilation system, the larger cafeteria that allowed for large and more convenient schedule changes and technological upgrades.
Meanwhile, state representative William F. Adolph, Jr. was impressed with the school's renovations.
"If you keep the learning atmosphere correct and lively and bright, whether they're kindergarten kids or seniors in high school, it's more conducive to learning," he said. "And this is without a doubt very conducive to learning."
Adolph said the biggest change he noticed, by far, was the technology upgrades. He described the changes such as the sound rooms, music room, physics labs, weight room and gymnasium as "fantastic" and "first class."