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VVS showcases new STEAM wing, media center

Posted 1/19/21

VERONA — The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill school district is showcasing its newly completed STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) wing and middle school/high school media center, as among …

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VVS showcases new STEAM wing, media center

Posted

VERONA — The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill school district is showcasing its newly completed STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) wing and middle school/high school media center, as among final steps in a $27.2 million capital project dating back four years.

The project, approved by district voters in December 2016, also included upgrades to building exteriors, carpet replacements, a new athletic stadium, outdoor learning spaces for all three elementary schools, and a middle school bus loop.

“All of these projects have been completed, and the district looks forward to welcoming students into these spaces when they resume hybrid instruction,” according to a VVS district announcement on Thursday.

The district is currently in an all-remote education format due to COVID-19, and plans to resume a hybrid format on Feb. 1.

“We are excited to be able to offer our students state-of-the art learning opportunities in the newly completed...STEAM wing,” said district Superintendent Martha Group.

“This space is a complement to the middle and high school media center and the technology and makerspace classrooms designed to prepare our students for learning and working in the 21st century.”

Group further said, “the vision of the facilities committee, comprised of community and school members, and the resulting support of the community for this project by the voters are excellent examples of the value the VVS community places on the education of our children. We are eternally grateful to all who have participated in and supported this effort.”

The library media center includes small group outdoor seating, bench seating, and study rooms available to students, along with a broadcasting and production studio featuring a green screen that students can use for morning announcements and digital projects. Three large group spaces line the learning commons, including flexible furniture, blue-tooth enabled technology, and magnetic white board room dividers for break-out sessions. A makerspace and technology classroom has also been added, giving students a large-scale project space for activities such as FIRST Robotics and Mohawk Valley Community College drone classes. These classrooms include 3D printers, vinyl cutters, poster printers, and dedicated work spaces, allowing students to gain experience, skills, and proficiency in a variety of areas, the district said.

The middle school STEAM wing, meanwhile, centers around two “STEAM Commons” which can fit a full team of middle school students for team building activities, multidisciplinary activities, and project-based learning. Also, 21st century classrooms surround the Commons areas, featuring adaptable furniture, SMART boards, varied seating spaces, and flexible partitions. Each classroom has a covered outdoor learning area attached, with built-in seating and courtyard space.

The district project also has included enhanced safety features such as for the middle school bus loop and for the school’s main entrance.

“I’m very thankful and proud to have been entrusted to lead a project that I believe will have an immediate, tangible, and lasting impact on safety and student learning,” said district Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Mark Wixson.

“Of course it could never have been accomplished without such an outstanding team, including our architects, project management, contractors, administrators, faculty, and staff, and without the incredible support from our superintendent, Board of Education, and school community.”

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