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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


New Era Of

Brad Nading/Telegram

The outside main entrance for the new Garden City High School features benches and sandstone rocks for seating.

Opening the doors to a

New era of education By RACHAEL GRAY


Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

Students commute between classes on Thursday.

ith the new Garden City High School complete and students and faculty settling into their new home, GCHS Principal James Mireles and USD 457 Superintendent Rick Atha can reflect on the work that has gone into building the state-of-the-art facility, as well as what it means to finally have it open. The new GCHS facility opened to students on Wednesday, with freshmen orientation, and was open to all students the following day. Mireles said he’s glad to have students in the building. “The building was neat in itself. But to see the students in here, and utilizing the new features, it means it’s all come together,” he said. Atha echoed Mireles’ sentiment. “It’s been a lot of time and a lot of plans to make this happen,” he said. Now that students and faculty are utilizing the 384,000-square-foot, $92.5-million school, they’re having adjust to life in the new school. Some upperclassmen are disappointed they no longer have open lunch. Students, parents and the public are concerned with morning and afternoon traffic around the facility and the city streets near the building. “It’s a learning process for everyone. But I think once people get used to it, they won’t mind as much,” he said. The new high school brings the classrooms of GCHS all under one roof, instead of expanding out to mobile classrooms. State-ofthe-art classrooms and technology enhance the learning experience for all students whether they’re in culinary arts, welding or media, school officials have said. A new stadium to the north of the building will provide a new field and track, and the school also features new tennis courts, a 2,500-seat gymnasium and a weight room that dwarfs the one at the old school. Atha said the new high school is an asset to the community. “The new high school is a major part of the district’s long-range facility plan that will assist our teachers and staff in meeting the educational needs of our district for many years. More importantly, it is a financial

investment by our community in our kids to give them the 21st century skills to compete in an ever-changing technological world. We are very fortunate to live in a community that supports the education of its youth,” he said. The new high school project has been four years in the making, with the bond issue approved for the school in 2008. The bond issue passed narrowly, 4,577-4,354. The bond issue was prompted by concerns about overcrowding at the old high school, which was built for 1,500 students, along with worries of outdated science labs, cramped locker rooms and other issues. The new high school has room for 2,000 students, and could be expanded to house 500 more. The USD 457 Board of Education in 2007 formed a staff/citizen committee to study 10 options for the future of GCHS. The group discussed everything from establishing a ninth-grade center to implementing a yearround school calendar, and it settled on two options to recommend to the board: build a second high school or a larger one to replace the current building. Groundbreaking for the new facility took place in September 2009. The old high school covers 225,000 squarefeet, and the new school features 384,000 square feet, with 120 classrooms on 160 acres. The new school is operating within an academy system. The four academies are the Academy of Trade and Health Science, the Academy of Arts and Communications, the Academy of Public Service and the Freshman Academy. Each career academy has teachers from different subjects who will combine their efforts as a means of integrating academic and technical curriculum. Students are able to participate in different academies each year, with the ultimate purpose of better preparing them for college and careers than traditional educational systems, according to Roy Cessna, public information officer. The $92.5 million project came several million dollars under budget, which allowed the school board to approve construction of a $975,000 ticket/concession/restroom and storage building. This also allowed the asphalt parking to be changed to concrete and for adding artificial turf to the football field, See Era, Page C14


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Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

Traffic from Garden City High School lines up at the stop light on Mary Street at the end of the first full day of school.

Getting used to a

Brad Nading/ Telegram

ABOVE: A group of Garden City High School students get condiments for their food on the first day of closed lunch period as others go through the lines in the cafeteria.

New way of doing things Closed lunch, academy setting, traffic just some of the things students having to get used to. By RACHAEL GRAY


t’s safe to say that much about daily student life has changed at Garden City High School. Students at GCHS have a new building to get accustomed to, closed lunch for the first time, new iPads to use and have to plan their days a little more around traffic before and after school. The core curriculum, test preparation and basic expectations from administrators are some of the few things that haven’t changed. The changes have gotten mixed reviews from students. Ricky Carrasco, 17, said he likes the new building. “It’s gorgeous. It’s a beautiful school. I think it’s probably the best high school in the state. I’m really excited about sports, academics and even my math class,” he said. Other students, however, say that while the building is nice, they don’t like getting lost in it. Valencia Gutierrez, 17, said she doesn’t like the closed lunch hours or the food. “It’s like a prison,” she said, adding that she didn’t eat on the first day of school. Audrey Olivarez, 17, a senior, said she didn’t think Garden City needed a high school that big, and that she had gotten lost the first day. “Our mall isn’t even this big. Why do we need a high school this big?” she said. Derek Cook, 15, and Parker Tanner, 14, both freshmen, said they like the new building but that traffic is an issue. The first few days of school, city officials, police officers and school officials worked to curb the traffic congestion. School staff took positions around the circular drive, urging people into the correct lanes and directing them when to stop or go. Mireles said because of the new facility, the new schedule and new operations, the public, students and parents will need to be patient with the changes. “I think in the next several weeks, we’re really going to get this down,” he said about the procedures and changes at the new school. In addition to allowing more time before and after school for traffic, students are dealing with other changes. The new school features four academies: the Academy of Trade and Health Science, the Academy of Arts and Communications, the Academy of Public See Change, Page C4

Brad Nading/Telegram

ABOVE LEFT: Students pay for lunch in the GCHS cafeteria on the first full day of school. ABOVE: A portion of the Garden City High School commons area is shown on the first day during one of the lunch periods at the school. GCHS has a closed lunch hour this year. LEFT: Garden City High School teacher John Ford, center, shows freshmen where the office is for the freshman academy Wednesday during the first day of school.


TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Change: Getting used to a new way of doing things Continued from Page C3

Service and the Ninth Grade Academy. Each career academy will have teachers from different subjects who will combine their efforts as a means of integrating academic and technical curriculum. Students will be able to participate in different academies each year, with the ultimate purpose of better preparing them for college and careers than traditional educational systems, USD 457 Public Information Officer Roy Cessna said. Don Murrell, trades academy lead teacher, said the academies are a nationwide movement and not just an experiment being done by GCHS. The idea is based off of the National Career Academy Coalition. “Career academies differ from traditional academic and vocational education because they prepare high school students for both college and careers. Academies provide broad information about a field such as health care, finance, engineering, media, or natural resources. They weave the themes into academic curricula that qualify students for admission to fouryear colleges or universities,” according to Studies have found that students in career academies perform better in high school and are more likely to continue into post secondary education, compared to similar students in the traditional schools, the website says. Some students already have gotten used to the academy structure as it has been implemented in some aspects of the curriculum. Katelyn Greene, a senior, is in the health and sciences academy. She said the academy allows her to focus on what she’s interested in and share the experience with like-minded students. “I spend a lot of time in my health classes and take electives that are more specific in what we like to do. I like it because I have a lot in common with other students I’m in class with,” she said. Greene also said it helped narrow down her future plans. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. Then I went into the health academy and got to see the opportunities I have and what I’m interested in,” she said. Although it hasn’t been implemented fully yet, each student

Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

ABOVE: Students eat lunch on the first full day of the school year. RIGHT: Vehicles and pedestrians make their way out of the Garden City High School parking lot onto Mary Street Thursday at the end of the first full day of classes. at the high school soon will be equipped with iPads. The devices will be used for quizzes, exams, daily work and will be taken home at the end of the day if the student has paid the $40 insurance fee. The district has purchased about 130 iPads for teachers and 2,200 for students. Johna McClelland, senior, was a part of the 1-to-1 pilot program in the high school during the 2011-12 school year. She said she uses her iPad to communicate with her teachers, especially because she’s gone so much for activities. The iPad enables her to keep up on assignments while on the road or at home, she said. “iPads break communication barriers between teachers and students,” she said.

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THE Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Teachers having to

Make the transition Students not the only ones having to settle into new surroundings. By ANGIE HAFLICH


ot only does the new Garden City High School bring changes for students, but it’s also a transition for their teachers. While the classes being taught will be the same as the ones taught at the old high school, for the most part, the technology and academy format will provide for more tailored instruction, based not only on individual students’ learning patterns but also upon their chosen career paths. Destiny Saffer, Kim Costa and Stephen Grieshaber taught at the old high school, and all three said they are excited about the possibilities that the new school and new technology will bring to their classrooms. Saffer is a special education English instructor and is starting her second year at the high school. She said that the main changes for her will be covering more ground and utilizing technology to help her students. “I’m a traveling teacher number one, so that’s the big change for me, in terms of the amount of ground I’ll have to cover is much more,” she said. Being a traveling teacher means that Saffer provides support within traditional English classes, so in total, 166 students are enrolled and she has a case load of 13 students with special needs. “That’s the class within a class model. It’s an inclusion model, so it’s a regular Ed English class with added support for the kids with special needs,” she said. There will be four academies at the new school: the Academy

Brad Nading/Telegram

A wall inside the main entrance for Garden City High School features the colors of the learning communities at the school. Yellow is for the School of Trade and Health Science, red is for the School of Arts and Communications, blue is for the School of Public Service and green is for the Freshman Academy. of Trade and Health Science, the Academy of Arts and Communications, the Academy of Public Service and the Ninth Grade Academy. Within each of these academies, there will be teachers of different subjects, who combine efforts as a means of integrating academic and technical curriculum. Students will participate in different academies each year, which will better prepare them for college and careers, Saffer said this academy format will allow her to provide more focused instruction, in terms of tailoring English to fit the career goals of each of her

individual students. “We might teach a little more technical writing in the trade academy classes, and in arts and communications, we might teach a little more creative writing,” she said. “So, it’s a little more tailored.” In terms of technology, Saffer said, she is most excited about the iPads students and teachers will be using and applications that will come along with them. “We have all this new technology, which is really great for my kids, my special See Teachers, Page C6

Brad Nading/Telegram

Garden City High School art instructor Danielle Falor, center, teaches a class in the Freshman Academy at Garden City High School.

Good Luck Buffaloes! Go make a good impression listen, learn, enjoy, have fun and make the most of every lesson.



TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Teachers: Faculty having to make transition Continued from Page C5

needs kids, because there are so many things I can do for them with the iPads,” she said. “Vocabulary is a big deal for my kids, so with the iPad, I have all sorts of tools to put in their hands that will help them be more successful.” Some of these apps include a dictionary app, a note taking app and an app that will take dictation from a student. “There are a couple of kids that have trouble handwriting stuff, and sometimes they’re not very fast typists either. But with the Dragon dictation, they can talk to their iPad, it’ll type out what they say and then they can send it to their email and then fix it in a word document,” she said. The types of additional resources available through websites and apps is also something that Grieshaber, who is a speech teacher, said he’ll be doing. “When they do research, they don’t know how to correctly research and they think that if it’s on Facebook, it’s true, so this is a good way I can try to filter them and show them which are good resources,” he said. He also said that the apps will not only help students with organization but also help him monitor their homework assignments more closely, as the assignments will be posted on the iPads. “It helps with kids who say they didn’t turn in assignments, and you can say, ‘I gave that to you,’ and they can’t say, ‘No you didn’t.’” There won’t be any more of ‘the dog ate my homework,’” he said and laughed. Grieshaber also will be teaching Freshman Success and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), which is a college readiness program. “It’s trying to get kids who are the in between. We focus a lot on the kids who are doing really well in school or the kids who are doing bad in school, and there’s really kind of that middle that’s left behind. So it’s really a program to get them to the next level, kind of like a college preparatory class, and they take it all four years

(with me),” he said. This consistent contact throughout the students’ high school careers will be a change for the better, he said. Kim Costa, who is beginning her second year at the high school, also teaches Freshman Success, as well as physical education. She said the most positive instructional change for her department is the facilities. “It’s a huge change because we have a lot more facilities. I have two classes that are 41 kids for PE. It was the same way over there (at the old high school). Sometimes, some were 50, and we just didn’t have the space and were sharing a small gym with other teachers, where here, it’s humongous compared to the other. We also have an aerobics dance room, where before, we were using the wrestling room ... tennis courts now, there’s just a lot more space for the kids. It’s very exciting for the department,” she said. Costa said that having the iPads also will be a benefit to her instructional approach. She said the Nike Training app will help her students customize their fitness plans. “You go in, and it has all these different workouts you can do, whether you’re doing cardio or trying to lift weights or whatever the case may be, and it starts at the beginning. ... That way they can tailor it, too. It’s really good,” she said. Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

ABOVE: Teachers will be utilizing iPads this year to teach students, who also will be equipped with iPads as part of the school’s 1-to-1 Initiative. Brad Nading/Telegram

LEFT: Mike Smith uses one of the machines in the cardio exercise room at Garden City High located adjacent to the gymnasium. Faculty are encouraged to use the new cardio exercise room at the new high school.

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Good luck to all GCHS students as they start the school year in their NEW state-of-the-art facilty. We’re proud to support the students, educators and administration of USD 457!

THE Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Course offerings

Bring college credits to campus Students have more options for college courses in new building. By SHAJIA AHMAD


arden City High School students can look forward to taking more classes for college credit right in their own building. Starting this academic year, at least eight new courses will be taught by high school instructors at the new building, 2720 Buffalo Way Blvd., so students can concurrently earn high school and college credit with a passing grade. The partnership between Garden City High School and Garden City Community College is not new. At least one or two courses — Introduction to Computer Concepts and Working With Children — have been popular among many students at the old facility, with more than 100 students enrolling in the courses each year for the past two academic years, according to Erinn Reyes, an outreach program coordinator at GCCC. With so many new courses being taught onsite at the new high school, the opportunities to get ahead on college coursework abound, Reyes said. Enrollment in the college courses at the high school has jumped from about 100 students annually to about 330 this academic year, for those students who are taking advantage of the new, on-site courses, according to Reyes. “Essentially, from last year, we only had one subject offered. Now, in addition to that class, we’ve got English, math, sociology,

psychology, entrepreneurship which is businessbased ... speech, (and) government,” Reyes said. “We’re hoping the kids will stay around the area and come (to GCCC), but some of them who get scholarships and opportunities to go elsewhere such as K-State or KU or any other institutions, then they’ve got this college credit already under their belt.” The textbooks, syllabi and other course materials for the on-site classes are the same as those taught at the college’s campus, as well, according to the GCCC official. Tracy Newell, a lead associate principal at GCHS, said the desire to keep the campus as closed as possible in the new building was part of the reason the administration decided to increase the number and range of onsite courses available to students. “One of our goals was to improve attendance, and the college courses fit into that,” he said. “We have (students) taking anywhere from one class to five classes this semester, and some of our seniors are taking 15 hours of college credit on our campus. ... It’s not our objective to replace the college — not at all. It’s our objective to help our students get that credit.” Of the 350 or so courses taken at the college campus by high school students in the last academic year, more than two-thirds of them were core subject classes that are similar or the same to the new core subject courses at the new high school campus, according to Newell.

That move from the college campus to the high school has nearly doubled enrollment in those subjects, from a total of 232 classes taken across the curriculum on the college campus last year to 417 classes being taught at the high school this academic year. The principal did not have exact student figures to release. “I think there’s several variables in this. Some of our kids didn’t have access to transportation before. Some of them, their parents might not have wanted them to drive over there to the campus and back,” the associate principal said, explaining the sharp jump in enrollment. “The counselors did a very good job, I think, last spring of telling our students that these courses would be available. ... And I think the students have talked to each other, too.” As far at technical courses go, Newell said about one-third of the 350 or so total college courses taken by students in the last academic fell under that category, including but not limited certified nursing assistant classes, first responder classes, courses in electronics, or classes in the health sciences fields. “(The students) will still be doing that,” Newell said, referring to those who will be traveling to and from GCHS and GCCC to take technical courses. “We’ll have 100 to 200 students, primarily seniors, who will have something off campus.” What’s more, a new Kansas law that took effect this past July may greatly benefit high school

students who are enrolled in post-secondary career technical programs, and officials at both GCHS and GCCC said they are working out the details. The Kansas Legislature passed a state bill this past legislative session — Senate Bill 155 — that establishes an incentive program encouraging school districts to increase the number of students graduating high school with industryrecognized credentials in key occupations, including

manufacturing, designated as being in highest need of additional skilled workers. As part of the measure, high schools will receive a $1,000 reward for any student that earns an industry-recognized certificate in a demand occupation for Kansas. The bill also covers any tuition costs for high school students enrolled in postsecondary career technical programs. Administrative officials from both schools said they’re working on the

details of that initiative at this time. “It’s designed to boost the Kansas economy by basically training people in high demand careers,” said Steve Quakenbush, spokesman for the community college. “A lot of high schools and colleges are starting to work together on this, and it’s good for colleges, too, because it gets more students into our career programs.” The GCCC president agreed. “We’re looking forward to developing this partnership with USD 457 and also with other school districts in our service area,” Herbert Swender, president of GCCC, said.

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THE Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Brad Nading/Telegram

A panoramic view of Garden City High School’s new football, track and soccer stadium.

Athletes, coaches ready to use

First-class facilities State-of-the-art facilities await GCHS athletics. By BRETT MARSHALL


hen voters in USD 457 approved in November 2008 to expend more than $90 million for a new Garden City High School and to upgrade various other educational facilities in the district, most people also knew that there would be a noticeable upgrade to the athletic facilities. It will come as no surprise, then, that when Garden City High School’s athletic teams open their 2012-13 seasons, they will be participating in state-ofthe art facilities. “When this was being planned, we wanted to make sure that our student-athletes had the best facilities available and that our coaches were given the best opportunity to be successful,” said Martin Segovia, athletic director at GCHS for the past two years. “We’re ecstatic with the way things have turned out, and the kids are looking forward to having a new home in which to play.” The USD 457 Board of Education approved earlier this spring to expend additional monies to add lights and bleachers to make the football stadium the “Home of the Buffaloes.” “Everything with the additional facilities was all about timing,” Richard Atha, USD 457 Superintendent, said. “When we came in under budget, we had the opportunity to look at long-range options and decided to put everything in now rather than later.” Atha cited installing concrete rather than asphalt for the parking lots; grass field to artificial turf for the football field; locating all GCHS events at the new campus rather than busing teams and the band to Memorial Stadium for home games. “Now we can host everything at home right here,” Atha said. “We wanted to look out 20 to 25 years and see the advantages of doing it now. The board faced the decisions, and we had the money, so they elected to add all of these facilities now. It was cheaper now than it would be later to finish off the facilities.” The new stadium, which also had added a new concession stand, ticket area, bathrooms and storage, will seat approximately 4,000, with 2,500 of those on the GCHS west home side. An additional 1,500 seats are on the east side, and the stadium has two modest-sized press boxes on each side, as well. The football field originally was to be a natural grass surface, but the district elected to install

Brad Nading/Telegram

The competition gym in the new Garden City High School is centrally located in the building, with the main entrance for it being on the north side of the school. artificial turf at a cost of $675,000. The field’s surface has the latest developed turf that looks like real grass, resembles the length of normal grass blades, but has ground rubber underneath to make it a softer surface with better traction for the athletes. The GCHS boys soccer team had the first official competition at the stadium on Saturday, when it hosted Emporia. The varsity football team will have its first game there Friday when it hosts Bixby, Okla. In all, $1,906,740 in expenses went into the additional construction approved by the board earlier this year, according to information provided by Kathleen Whitley, financial officer for USD 457. Those expenses included: synthetic turf ($675,778), Concession/ storage/ticket/restroom building ($352,029 after deductions of $623,025 for electrical room paid from contingency fund, and from savings by Adolfson and Peterson on heating during construction), football field infrastructure ($113,057), football field, pressbox and scoreboard wiring ($109,695), adding fiber optic to football field ($29,185), stadium lights and installation ($195,000), additional bleachers ($427,996). On the west side bleachers, the middle three sections are reserved for GCHS season ticket holders. There are 860 cushioned seatbacks that were to be installed early this week in advance of Friday’s season opening

Brad Nading/Telegram

A new scoreboard and video screen is tested at Garden City High School’s football stadium earlier this month. football game. The cost of those seatbacks was paid for by private contributions. The stadium’s video board was constructed at a cost of $285,004 (board and installation). According to Atha, corporate sponsors of the overall project will pay for the scoreboard. Of the expected $420,000 monies committed by local and area businesses, approximately $350,000 already has been collected. Atha indicated that the remaining monies would be collected within the next month. Those corporate sponsors will have signage recognition on the scoreboard for 10 years. See Sports, Page C10

Brad Nading/Telegram

Brytany Landon, right, hits a backhand shot during a Garden City High School girls tennis team practice at the new GCHS tennis complex. The complex is located south of the football stadium.


TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Athletics: State-of-the-art facilities await teams Continued from Page C9

There is an eight-lane track that has been lined and measured in meters that will be host to the Garden City Invitational track meet next spring, with the hopes of landing a regional track meet in the future for Class 6A schools. All the accompanying events for track and field — long and triple jump pits, high jump, double-ended pole vault, two shot put and two discus areas and javelin — are situated along the perimeter of the track/stadium. There are two additional grass practice fields for football and soccer to the northwest side of the stadium. As students, parents and the public drive around the school from the south to the north, they will be greeted first by an eight-court tennis complex with lighting. Both the Buffaloes girls and boys teams will practice there daily, and it will be the host location for the teams’ respective invitationals in the fall and spring. There are small bleachers situated between courts for viewing by fans. On the north side of the field event areas, there are practice fields for both softball and baseball. Inside, athletes and fans will be treated to one of the most impressive gymnasiums in southwest Kansas — with a seating capacity of 2,500, an overhead scoreboard at center court, and scoreboards at each end of the court for easy viewing by players and coaches. Seats in the primary area on both sides of the court will have flip-up backs to make for comfortable seating for the fans. The competition gym and an auxiliary gym next to it will accommodate four volleyball

Brad Nading/Telegram

The new Garden City High School weight room is located just north of the auxiliary gymnasium. nets. The auxiliary gym will seat approximately 500 for basketball games, where junior varsity and freshman games will be played. Fans arriving at the school’s north entrance will go up a flight of stairs to the gym’s main entrance and then walk into an arena with all the seating and the floor located below. The walkway around the court will accommodate a walking path that in 10 trips around equates to one mile. That walking area will be open to the public from 5 to 7 a.m. daily. That time frame will be staffed by GCHS coaches and teachers. And while the gym will be open to the public from the beginning of the school year, it is still

unclear as to what the access will be for the public to the football stadium track and tennis courts. Segovia said they were still working on developing a policy for those specific facilities. On the ground floor of the gymnasium, there is a full-length storage area behind one side of the bleachers to store equipment for all sports. Competitive wrestling mats also will be stored there to avoid having to carry mats down and back up to the practice room. On the upper level of the gymnasium, there is a practice wrestling room, at approximately 3,600 square feet, which is roughly 30 percent larger than the previous practice room at the old high school. Next

This school year

door to that is a large practice room to accommodate the cheerleaders, dance squads for both athletics and choirs, whereas in the past they were practicing in the school’s hallways. Locker rooms for all varsity teams, as well as for physical education classes, are plentiful. The football varsity locker room has 80 spaces, and a door from there leads out to the stadium. Offices for coaches are in the nearby hallway to the locker rooms. There is a meeting room with graduated seating to accommodate 68 people. It also has a projection screen for watching game films. “What people might not realize is that this is going See Athletics, Page C11

Brad Nading/Telegram

A Garden City High School logo is located on the athletic director’s window looking out in to the gym, while a large portrait of Bruce Lee and a statement by Lee is on one of the walls in the office. 217323

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Athletics: State-of-the-art facilities await teams Continued from Page C10

to allow our physical education classes to be more versatile for the entire student body,� Segovia said. “We were so limited in what we could do at the old school. This gives us so much more flexibility to develop new and better programs for the kids.� For Atha, the entire overview of facilities at the new high school was about balance. “We wanted to balance all the academic and athletic/activity facilities for our students,� Atha said. “Also, what we offer the female student-athlete was just as important as what we offer the male student-athlete. We’ve got the weight room and fitness center that allows all of our students to stay fit if they want.�

Weight room/ fitness center Dominick Dingle oversees the two rooms that already have been busy with student-athletes and faculty/staff. There are eight major stations in the weight room, Dingle said. The room is approximately 90by-40 feet. There is a leg press machine, a neck machine, medicine balls, new dumbbells (all the other weights were moved from the old high school). The GCHS Booster Club and Sideliners Club purchased a new MAXX Head that is football specific to test strength, reaction time and agility of the players. “It’s already paying dividends for us,� said Dingle, the assistant head coach to Brian Hill. “We can assess a player and identify the areas where they need to get better and can develop a plan to make that happen.� A separate cardio room with multiple stations is situated on the lower level of the gymnasium area between the competition and auxiliary gyms. Currently, it is being used by coaches, staff and students. Segovia has said that there currently is no curriculum for classes for the student body, but there are plans for that in the future.

Athletic training room

The Garden City High School volleyball team practices in the auxiliary gym. Action in the auxiliary gym is visible from windows along the walking track at the upper portion of the competition gym. compared to two. An ice machine has been added that allows her to use both cube and crushed ice to treat injuries. There is a large storage area, a restroom and an office that is about 15 percent bigger than at the old high school. One of the best features, according to Boyd, is the load out wet room that can accommodate the vehicle to load athletes in and out without tracking anything through the rest of the building. It is located directly off the hallway that connects to the gymnasium, and the outer exit is closest to the football field. “Actually, this is nearly what I had designed when they asked me what our needs would be,� Boyd said. “We’ll be able to do a much better job of taking care of the student-athletes than we have in the past.� She usually has about eight to 10 student aides who work in the athletic training program. Currently, three of her former aides are now working in athletic training at the collegiate level. Boyd received her bachelor of science degree in athletic training in 2007 from Kansas State University.

Boyd’s day doesn’t end until the last of the student-athletes are finished with their practices in the evenings. Two mornings a week, she travels to Ingalls to work with the athletes at the high school there. The remaining two to three mornings each week, she is at Sandhill’s main office on the corner of Fulton and Main streets. “The new facility just gives us more ways to better care for the studentathletes,� Boyd said. “It’s exciting because we’ve got things computerized on the forms, and we can update things much more quickly and everything is more accurate, too.�

of the school, just east of the pointed door entrance. It would have included an eight-lane, 25-meter pool, a zero-depth pool, seating for 250 (fans) and 75 (swimmers). It would have included boys and girls locker rooms. The estimated cost for the 19,650square-foot facility was $7,319,820. “The board wanted to see what a swimming pool facility would look like, where it would be located and how much it might cost,� Atha said. “It was determined at that point, that the cost and maintenance was just too much to have it in the bond proposal. So they chose not to consider it.�

Swimming pool

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Garden City High School athletic trainer Cassy Boyd puts items away in her expanded training treatment rooms after a practice earlier this month.


While the bond proposal of 2008 did not include construction of a swimming pool, architectural drawings and estimated construction costs were made by Stewart Nelson of Gibson, Mancini, Carmichael and Nelson, p.a., the Garden City architectural firm that was involved in the entire project. In documents provided by Whitley from USD 457, the pool would have been located on the north end

~ Established 2012

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Finney County Voters for investing in our

community’s future Brad Nading/Telegram

Garden City High School’s new wrestling room is adjacent to the competition gym.


The new facilities also include a physical training room where Cassy Boyd, employed by Sandhill Orthopaedic in Garden City, begins her daily work at 1 p.m. She is charged with keeping the GCHS studentathletes healthy, working with them on rehabilitation of injuries and making sure that all the forms for physicals have been completed and submitted to the state activities association. In her new facility, there are now four taping stations compared to two in the old building; there are three treatment tables

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

Students cooking up


Recipe for success

New culinary facility features industrial-sized appliances, additional space compared to old building. By ANGIE HAFLICH


tudents in the Garden City High school culinary arts program will gain a leg up on their future competition by not only having the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art facility, but also because their instructor has high expectations in terms of their professionalism, proper food handling procedures and their understanding of cooking methods and terminology. The new culinary facility is a major improvement over the one that instructor Karen Burden used at the old high school, where students used regular kitchen stoves and had little storage space. In contrast, the department at the new school boasts industrialsized stoves, refrigerators, both walk-in and regular freezers, an industrialgrade dishwasher, mixers, steamers, proper sinks and is laid out in a way that mirrors professional restaurants. “I think one of the big advantages to the department is the fact that the students will be learning on commercial equipment,� Burden said. As part of the curriculum, a baking and pastry class is being offered through the program, which Burden said was not possible at the old high school. “We haven’t offered baking and pastry as a separate class before, but we are this year mainly because when we did our competency profiles and revamped the culinary program on the state level, we added the baking and pastry,� she said. “With the new, we have the baking tables, the ovens, the big mixers and the sheeter,

which is used for croissants and puffed pastries and things like that.� Elsa Montanez, 16, described the new facility as “pretty cool.� “If I go into the culinary field, I want to be more of a baker — mostly cakes and cupcakes,� Montanez said. The addition of the baking and pastry class isn’t the only change. “One of my hopes is that the students will really take a more professional attitude towards this because it was very difficult for them to visualize and understand that proper attire and that sort of thing for safety issues was critical and important, and so I’m hoping that more students will take a more serious, professional attitude towards it and really see, that through this experience, they can either go directly to work in the industry or go for more education,� Burden said. Rylee Escalada, 17, who recently moved to Garden City from Albuquerque, N.M., said that her old school had nothing like it. “As soon as I walked in, I was just in awe,� Escalada said. In the new facility, Burden said, her students are required to enter through a locker area, where they must change into their cooking attire, including chef hats, prior to entering the culinary facility. In maintaining strict hygienic standards, there are also sinks devoted only to hand washing. One of Burden’s main goals is also to make certain that the students understand what a career in the culinary field means. “A lot of times, students will say they want to go on to culinary school, and I See Culinary, Page C14

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Culinary students Elsa Montanez, junior,Yadira Sandoval, senior, Jerrell Peterson, junior, and Rylee Escalada, senior,  pose for a photo in the new culinary classroom at Garden City High School. 2010 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell BankerŽ is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity . Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.


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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Era: New school Continued from Page C1

Brad Nading/Telegram

A portion of the culinary classes kitchen is shown at Garden City High School.

Culinary: Students cooking up recipe for success Continued from Page C13

think, ‘They’ve never been in a class, and how do they know if this is really what they want to do?’� she said. “And this is one of the good things about the program is that it helps students to know if this is really what they want to do.� College-aged students have a tendency to change their majors, so the fact that these decisions can be made by students at the high school level is another benefit. Jerell Peterson, 17, who is an example of someone who has a variety of interests, described the facility as state-of-the-art and said he is considering changing his career goal of becoming a graphic game designer to being a chef. “It’s hard to pick. There’s a lot of things I like to do,� he said.

Burden said that oftentimes, students think that being a chef or baker is like what is seen on TV, when in reality it involves being on your feet all day and lifting and carrying heavy items. “Because their picture is what’s on TV and that’s not realistic,� she said. She then explains that the behind-the-scenes preparation had to take place prior to the finished product showing up on their screens. “I always talk about mise en place, which means putting everything in place, all of their supplies, the preparation, like chopping, dicing and measuring, and having everything laid out so when you’re ready to cook, all you have to do is put it together,� Burden said. “So, helping them to understand what all is behind the scenes and how critical that part is for any restaurant is very

important, because if they don’t have their mise en place done, there’s no way they can have that meal out there when it’s supposed to be.â€? The term, mise en place, as well as julienne and chiffonade, are just three of many French terms used in the culinary industry. Because of this, Burden’s students also will have to learn the vocabulary, spelling and meaning of many new words. iPads will play a critical role in this area. iPad apps also will help students understand more clearly what is meant by certain cooking methods, such as sautĂŠing. “The main thing that I’m looking at is their ability. Like they’re going to be learning about sautĂŠing, and I’ll have an app to where before they come into class, they’ll be able to

look at it and see what it is that they’re going to do, and if they still have problems with it, they can go back and review it and see the science behind it — why it needs to be high heat, and what’s going to happen if they don’t have that high heat,� she said. Aside from cooking, there are a variety of avenues that students can pursue within the culinary industry, such as, restaurant management, so she also will have the students use the iPad to keep track of inventory, costs and other financial aspects. Yadira Sandoval, 18, said that she dreams of one day becoming a chef. “I’m really thankful for them doing everything like this for us because we seem really blessed to have all of this,� Sandoval said.

designed to save on future costs. The amount saved is difficult to determine at the beginning of the school year, according to Atha. “After moving into the new high school, we may have some unforeseen issues arise that may need to be addressed,� he said. Atha said the district would provide an accurate number in the future on money saved. In March, the school board approved the plan, to include lighting, a scoreboard and seating for 4,000 at the stadium. The $912,000 project is expected to cost the district $600,000 out of bond monies. Donors and sponsors have committed to $300,000 for the project. In addition to settling into the new school, students soon will be handed a technological gift as part of an initiative to equip all high school students with iPads. Darren Dennis, USD 457’s assistant superintendent for learning services, said the tool will be useful for the new type of testing, as school districts move to Common Core Standards for state testing. Student safety at the building is a high priority — about 85 cameras are posted inside and outside the building. Students may not leave to go to their cars and must be buzzed in if they’re late to school. “The top priority is to keep students safe, and to keep them at school,� he said. The board and administrators agreed on one entrance to the high school due to safety concerns. Although traffic is congested before and after school, Mireles say it’s for the best. “People will just have to start building in that 20-30 minutes of inconvenience into their schedules,� Mireles said. Mireles said he’s excited about the first year at the new high school. “It’s a beautiful facility. But there are certain things that the teachers, staff and students will need to get used to,� he said. “I think everyone will be better off with this new school.�

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012 C15

THE Garden City Telegram

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Graphics above the lounge area for the School of Trade and Health Sciences at Garden City High School.

Architecture, artwork

Aesthetically pleasing Local firm heads up design work on new school. By DEREK THOMPSON


or Stewart Nelson, working on the new Garden City High School holds special importance. Nelson, an architect with GMCN Architects in Garden City and a GCHS alumnus, helped spearhead the design of the multi-million dollar project. Having lived in Garden City since he was 5, Nelson considers himself a native of the community.

“I went to Garden City High School here, so that was kind of a nice thing about coming back and being involved in the design of a new high school,” Nelson said. The local architecture firm was one of five groups that worked to see the design of the stateof-the-art facility come to fruition. GMCN did not contribute a certain percentage of work to the project, but rather joined other firms in the project. “We’ve had five different firms work on this project: our firm; DLR Group; MKEC, which is a civil engineering firm out of Wichita; We had an acoustical consultant, Theer & Associates out of Kansas City; and we had

a kitchen consultant out of Topeka, Hoffman and Associates. All together, we figured out, there’s been about 54 different people from the design group that have worked on this project,” Nelson said. The new high school campus sits on approximately 121 acres, and the 384,000 square-foot facility houses 120 classrooms. The local architect was involved with the project from the get-go, helping USD 457 administrators spread the word about the bond issue in 2008 prior to the successful passage of the bond issue. Up to the school’s opening this fall, Stewart said, he has been involved with the project See Design, Page C18

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A large buffalo is etched on one of the north windows of the Garden City High School commons area. The north end of the commons area has been named “the point.”

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A greenhouse on the west side of the new Garden City High School is one of the school’s more unique features.

THE BUFFALOES HAVE A BEAUTIFUL NEW HOME! Congratulations from all of us at Landmark!

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Sights and shapes of the new GCHS

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The entrance to Garden City High School’s competition gymnasium.

Brad Nading/Telegram Brad Nading/Telegram

Each school within Garden City High School has a lounge area across from the office, including charging areas for iPads. The lounge area for the School of Public Service is shown.

A variety of textures and finishes are found throughout the school, such as this one featuring wood and stone outside the career center.

Brad Nading/Telegram

A pair of metal buffalo heads are located on a pole outside the student entrance to Garden City High School.

Brad Nading/Telegram

Various textures have been used on the inside, as well as the outside, of Garden City High School.

Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

A side view of the new GCHS theater, which seats 750 and already has hosted several events in August.

THE Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

GCHS Congratulations Garden City! Your community’s enduring spirit and commitment to revitalizing your high school is inspirational. We are proud to play a small role in designing your future.




TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Design: Architecture, art aesthetically pleasing Continued from Page C15

for about four years. “We were hired as the project architect because the school district wanted us as a local entity to sort of be in charge of the project. My role ... was to kind of organize everybody and be a liaison between DLR group, these other consultants and the owner.” Stewart did have a “minor role” in the design of some interior spaces, including the locker rooms, though he and his firm contributed in other facets of the expansive project. “A big portion of it was actually during the construction. I personally worked on it during the initial meetings with staff and administration over at the high school. I was involved in a little bit of the design work. ... Most of the design occurred up in the Kansas City office. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit because what you see out there is mostly their work.” According to Nelson, there are several architectural highlights of the new facility, including the commons area and the “point.” “I think, obviously, the main focal points, I guess you might say, would be the cafeteria or what we call the commons area — the kind of triangle shaped area that comes out to a point at the north. That’s where all the students will come into the school and eventually go to their academies,” Nelson said. On the east facing glass of the “point,” there is a buffalo on the glass. The buffalo faces the visitors section at the stadium, and is visible to travelers coming around the U.S. Highway 50 bypass. It also is intended to provide a bit of “intimidation” to opponents, the architect said. In addition, Nelson counts the 750-seat auditorium and the 2,500-seat gymnasium as other architectural highlights at the facility. “They don’t have a space over where they were at where they could

Brad Nading/Telegram

Outdoor courtyard area in northwest portion of Garden City High School.

Brad Nading/Telegram

Lighting above the large classroom meeting area in the School of Arts and Communications at Garden City High School. bring their entire student body into one space. The gym (at the previous high school) just wasn’t big enough to handle all the kids and put them in a seat,” Nelson said. The gymnasium features a lower-level court, with people entering the gym at the top of the stands and working their way down to their seats. A separate practice gym is adjacent to the main gym. A greenhouse is on the

west end of the facility, a feature not common in many high schools. The greenhouse will be utilized by the school of trade and health sciences. “The instructors wanted to get a greenhouse for part of their curriculum, so that was added to that side of the building as part of that academy,” Roy Cessna, public information officer with USD 457, said. Nelson added that the new school is fully compli-

ant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with numerous features in place to serve all visitors to the facility. “The school is entirely accessible from an ADA standpoint. It has three elevators that will take you up to all of the levels,” Nelson said. The school is basically a two-story structure, but there are areas that have three-story spaces, including the arts and communi-

cations area. In keeping with the fresh design at the new school, new artwork was installed in the various academies. Large, multicolored murals adorn the walls in the facility, with inspirational quotes and imagery that pertain to the course of study in the academies. A mural in the school of trade and health sciences reads “Space is the breath of art,” a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright, a prominent American architect and designer. Tracy Leiker, associate principal in the freshman academy, helped spearhead the new artwork in the high school. Staples from the old high school were brought over to the new building, in addition to the new murals in each of the four academies, as well as in the commons/cafeteria area. The school’s mascot, the buffalo, is well represented in the new school. “We brought over the sodbuster buffalo. ... It’s

a stuffed buffalo that was formerly near the athletics department (in the old school). It’s now by the auditorium,” Leiker said. “TaTonka,” a bronze buffalo designed and crafted by Javier Rivas, a 1999 graduate of GCHS, was moved to the new facility, as well. It is now located by the front visitors entrance. A bronze buffalo statue was donated this year by the classes of ’61, ’62 and ’63. A sand blasted buffalo statue donated by the classes of ’67, ’68 and ’69 is now outside the commons area courtyard. It was brought over from the other school, Leiker said. In addition, a Garden City Senior High buffalo monument, donated by the class of ’79, is now outside the commons area courtyard. It also was brought over from the other school. A buffalo mosaic created by the GCHS art department is now at the front entrance. It was brought out of storage and repaired by the current art club.

Go Buffs! Congratulations! Brad Nading/Telegram

Windows that allow natural light in are found throughout the new Garden City High School.

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


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A panoramic view of Garden City High School’s south entrance.

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A courtyard area is located outside the south entrance side of the new Garden City High School.

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A view of the Garden City High School commons area.

A group of soccer fans sits along the top row of the home bleachers Saturday as the Garden City High School boys’ soccer team faces Emporia. The varsity and junior varsity games were the inaugural games for the football, track and soccer facility.

Congratulations on the investment of the many bright, young people of tomorrow!



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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Changing education with a

Wave of new technology By RACHAEL GRAY

Students can make videos and take photos of experiments to consult later for observations or to draw conclusions, he said. In addition to science teachers, other teachers are finding other uses for the iPad in their classrooms. Remmich has consulted with English teachers, who say iPads can provide more information on literature, including interactive plays and animations. Math teachers use the iPad in similar ways to Remmich, offering questions with instant answers. Biology teachers can use different apps to show students the inside of the


Becky Malewitz/Telegram

GCHS’ 1-to-1 iPad initiative will equip each student at the high school with an iPad to individualize, work from and take home. Technology administrators expect to hand out iPads after Labor Day.

Brad Nading/Telegram

Security cameras are located throughout the interior of Garden City High School.

ith new classrooms, shops, athletic facilities, academies and closed lunches, students have a lot of things to get used to at the new Garden City High School. Throw new technology into the mix, as well. GCHS’ 1-to-1 iPad initiative will equip each student at the high school with an iPad to individualize, work from and take home. Technology administrators expect to hand out iPads after Labor Day. The iPad initiative has earned state, local and worldwide attention. USD 457 is providing 2,200 iPads for students and 130 iPads for teachers. The iPad implementation was the sixth largest school district implementation and the 24th largest deployment of iPads in the world, as of June, according to Layne Schiffelbein, instructional technology coordinator. Chris Remmich, chemistry teacher, used the iPad in his old classroom at the former high school. “Really, the thing with these iPads is that we have an instant connection to our students,” he said. He said he can sync his iPad with the students’ iPads and get instant feedback on answers. If students are having problems understanding material, Remmich can quickly identify where the students are struggling and go back over the material. The iPad also allows students to seek further education and instruction outside the classroom. Using iTunes U, or iTunes University, students can browse different lectures on different topics. Remmich also incorporates the iPad into his labs.

human body. Remmich said he sees it as a benefit for each student to have an iPad . He said it will provide a lot of repetition of material, especially when class times are short. He said students having iPads to take home will enable them to access his class and material 24 hours a day. If students have trouble, they will be able to replay a lecture, see notes or do extra assignments. Remmich said he would be able to send reminders to students to bring the proper materials, or remind them that they have a test. “They can be engaged outside the classroom,” he

said. Students in the pilot program from the past school year said they support the initiative. For Darian McKnight, a senior, the iPad minimizes the space needed in his backpack and helps him not miss assignments. He was part of the 1-to-1 iPad pilot program implemented at the old high school last year. McKnight said he uses the iPad, smart phones and other types of technology in everyday life and at school. “You put technology in my hands, I can do anySee Technology, Page C21

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012 C21

THE Garden City Telegram

Technology: High School to roll out iPad initiative thing with it,� he said. Several teachers have spoken in favor of the iPad , saying that it changes the way students learn, retain and present information. Russ Tidwell, debate coach, supports the measure. “Information is power in society,� he said. Technology coordinators said the iPad implementation will help the school become paperless, saving the district about $60,000 a year. Rick Atha, USD 457 superintendent, has said the money to fund the iPads for the first year will come out of bond money saved by the new high school coming in under budget. Board members in April approved spending $1,042,937.64 of the bond money on the initiative.

Brad Nading/Telegram

Garden City High School’s media center. In the second and third years, the money will come out of the supplemental general fund, Atha has said. The cost for the second

and third year to the district will be $452,577.14 and $349,600, respectively. Individual cost for the iPad is $531, which includes the cost of the

Plaza Medical Center, Inc. would like to



device, protective case, license and apps, according to Atha. The iPad initiative has led to network-tweaking and larger bandwidth

for the high school. The school may become a “hot spot� where students can get online to work on projects. School officials are hoping some restaurants, churches and community facilities become “hot spots� where students can work on schoolwork. Technology officials have said even students who don’t have access to Wifi can download assignments to work on at home. Digital backpacks will enable students to turn in and view assignments. In addition to the iPads, the school has more technology in terms of security. Steve Karlin, deputy superintendent, said the school has 230 cameras that will serve as surveillance in and outside the building. School officials are hoping to set up a camera

at the entrance of the high school to keep track of who goes in and out of the facility. In case of lockdown or security situations, Won doors, which are sliding doors, will close off the academies from intruders.

Get Prints of Photos from The Telegram.

Continued from Page C20

CONGRATULATIONS Keep aiming higher!

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on their new school.

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Best of Luck! Congratulations to the entire community for your foresight and efforts in developing such a first class High School. Thomas L. Koksal, M.D. DABFP Scott D. Booker, D.O. DAOBFP Pamela E. Stewart, M.D. DABFP

We’re proud to support the students, educators, and administration of U.S.D. 457! Students, take pride in the opportunity this community has given you. Together we can accomplish anything!!!

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TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram

Settling into a new home Brad Nading/Telegram

Garden City High School band students organize in the band room Aug. 18 for a group photograph taken for the yearbook. The new band room is more than twice as large as the room at the old high school.

Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

Traffic and pedestrians try to exit the GCHS parking lot onto Mary Street at the end of the first day of school.

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Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

A group of Garden City High School students make their way out of the commons area and back to the classrooms Thursday.

Garden City High School students congregate in the main gymnasium on Thursday as part of firstday orientation. The gym, which seats 2,500, is large enough to hold the entire student body.


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THE Garden City Telegram

TUESDAY, August 28, 2012


Work to begin on new high school Editor’s Note: This article originally was published in the Sept. 24, 2009, edition of The Telegram.

By Monica Springer


chool district leaders, students and members of the community gathered on a rainy morning Wednesday at the site of the new high school, to break ground on the $92.5 million, 384,000 square-foot building. “This is a great day for Garden City public schools and Garden City,” said Rick Atha, superintendent. “This facility is truly about our kids, our school and our future of Garden City.” The new high school is part of a $97.5 million facilities upgrade that voters approved in November. Other plans include turning Garfield Elementary School into an early childhood center, converting Abe Hubert Middle School into an elementary school, converting the current GCHS building into a middle school, and moving New Outlook Academy into J.D. Adams Hall, which sits adjacent to the current high school . “It’s been a long time coming,” said Jeff Crist, a member of the USD 457 Board of Education, adding that the community has talked about building a new high school for years. “It’s really needed.” In the fall of 2007, a

Brad Nading/Telegram

Bill Weatherly, center left, former Garden City High School athletic director, James Mireles, GCHS principal, Rick Atha, USD 457 superintendent, and Mike Utz, former USD 457 Board of Education president, combine to cut a ribbon Sept. 24, 2009, during a groundbreaking ceremony at the future GCHS building site. community-led high school facility group formed to research how to solve the issue of overcrowding at the current high school. Craig Wheeler, co-chairman of the GCHS Facility Study Group, said at the groundbreaking that the group researched 10 different options, ultimately deciding to recommend

two options to the Board of Education — building a new high school or building a second high school. After the board voted to build one new high school, the bond campaign started. Shonda Collins, cochairwoman of the Bond Campaign Committee, said the group held community meetings, made presenta-

tions, went door to door and distributed thousands of brochures and yard signs. The new high school will hold 2,000 students initially, and will be built to expand and handle 2,500. According to a preliminary head count of students taken this week, there are 1,946 students attending

the current high school, up from 1,914 last year. The building will be a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the needs of Garden City students for years to come, said Stewart Nelson, an architect with Gibson, Mancini, Carmichael and Nelson. The dirt work at the site will begin immediate-

ly, Nelson said. Students are scheduled to begin attending the new school in August 2012. The audience also heard from Ken Graham of DLR Group, Overland Park, who said the new school would be a showpiece for the community, and David Crase, a Garden City commissioner who said the new high school would facilitate growth and economic growth in the community. After the speakers, Atha, school board President Mike Utz, GCHS Principal James Mireles and GCHS Activities Director Bill Weatherly cut a red ribbon with a large pair of scissors, signaling the start of construction. Then Atha and board members put on hard hats to shovel the first pieces of dirt on the project. Tractors roared in the background. The new high school will serve a variety of functions, including reducing overcrowding, reducing class sizes and enhancing career and technical education programs. Crist said the building will allow students to receive vocational training if they desire, and students could graduate with certificates in welding or culinary arts. “It’ll benefit the workforce of the community,” Crist said.

First full day at new GCHS a test for students, staff Editor’s Note: This article originally was published in the Aug. 24, 2012, editon of The Telegram.


Some didn’t like the food, others didn’t like the closed lunch hour and many didn’t like the traffic Thursday morning and afternoon. But a lot of students at Garden City High School said they liked the building. Thursday marked the first day of full classes at the new facility at 2720 Buffalo Way Blvd. The first day of classes also meant the first day of observing the traffic flow on Mary Street and around the school grounds for city workers, Garden City police officers and school officials. James Mireles, high school principal, said the morning traffic went smoothly. At times in the morning, the traffic was backed up a ways to the west on Mary Street. Mireles said some of that was issues with city traffic light timing and also driver error. Two lanes turn left into GCHS, and most students and parents just used one lane. “Once people learn that there are two lanes that go left into the drive, it will go faster,” he said. Mireles said the traffic after school was congested a bit longer than he predicted. He cited two reasons for that. “Students are going to learn that using that other lane to go towards the bypass may be quicker for them. Most tried to turn

Becky Malewitz/ Telegram

Members of the GCHS JROTC participate in a flag raising ceremony Friday at the new Garden City High School. right back towards the west,” he said. The other reason traffic became congested after school Thursday was because parents seemed to only use one lot to pick up students. The lot they used was the visitor lot in front, to the south of the school. “Parents and students need to communicate,” Mireles said, adding that parents can pick up students from a number of parking lots, not just the one in front. “It’s a training issue. Once we tweak those, it will get easier and will be faster to unload the building,” he said. To address these issues, city public works personnel, Garden City police and GCHS officials will meet every day after school.

Sam Curran, director of public works for the city, said it may take the public about four to five days to learn how to get around the school, both entering the school grounds and dealing with traffic near the facility. “We’re studying traffic patterns to tell what issues we have. From there, we’ll make decisions on what needs to be done,” he said. Curran said the traffic Thursday morning started to pick up around 7:30 a.m., and most students were parked and in the building by 8:15 a.m. “People just need to know to build that 20 or 30 minutes into their schedules,” Curran said. Curran said the flow of traffic in the morning also will be smoother once drivers start using

both left turn lanes. Once the students were inside the building Thursday, they were not allowed to leave to go out to their cars in the parking lot or to leave for lunch. This is the first year with both of those policies. Mireles cited student safety and “skipping” as reasons for both. Valencia Gutierrez, 17, a senior, said she doesn’t like having a closed lunch after being able to leave the old campus. She also said she wasn’t fond of the cafeteria food. “I didn’t eat any of it today,” she said. Gutierrez said she feels locked up. “In a way, it feels like a prison,” she said. Alexa Shaffer, 17, a senior, said she didn’t like having a closed lunch either. “It sucks. We’ve known open lunch all of high school. I really don’t know what to think,” she said. Shaffer also said she wasn’t fond of the lunch options Thursday. She chose a salad. “They are healthier, though,” she said. Mireles said lunch seemed to go smoothly, with four shifts. Freshman lunch took longer than expected, and Mireles said they may adjust the schedule or send some freshmen to other lunch periods. Steve Nordby, USD 457’s coordinator of secondary education, who observed the lunch lines, said it took students a long time Thursday, but he added that they weren’t used to the new cafeteria or more lunch options.

“They have a lot of choices, more food and more seating. It may just take a little longer this week,” he said. Nordby said the popular place to sit was “the point,” which is the pointed, glass section of the commons area that faces south. Ricky Carrasco, 17, a senior, was enthusiastic about the first day of school. He said in the morning that it only took him about five minutes to get into the school, but he left home early to get there. Carrasco said he’s impressed with the building. “It’s gorgeous. It’s a beautiful school. I think it’s probably the best high school in the state. I’m really excited about sports, academics and even my math class,” he said. The Garden City Police Department reported one noninjury accident at Mary Street and Henderson Drive on Wednesday, a day when only freshmen attended school for a half-day. The crash occurred at 11:51 a.m., after freshmen orientation. Garden City police Sgt. Michael Reagle reported there were no accidents Thursday. “Backed-up traffic was an issue, and city personnel were in the area monitoring the situation to determine traffic light timing to help reduce future problems,” he said. Mireles said Thursday was a good start at the new high school, with getting used to traffic, a closed lunch and a new building. “I would give us a B, or a B+. We did great, but there’s room for improvement,” he said.

Congratulations! Congratulations Staff & Students of USD 457 on your new learning environment.

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Congratulations TUESDAY, August 28, 2012

the Garden City Telegram


A whole new phase of life is waiting for you.... If you make the very best of it,

it’ll be the making of you!

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GCHS Commemorative Special Section 8-28-12  

A special section featuring the new Garden City High School.