VHS students enjoy new science and library complex

Published 8:58 am Friday, April 6, 2007

Vidalia High School students are excited about the new library and science facilities on campus.

In the hall between classes, students poked their heads into the school’s new science lab to ask chemistry and physics teacher Errol Perez about new equiptment, and when they would be allowed to use it.

The lab, which has six work stations, a vent-a-hood for removing noxious fumes and an emergency shower, is part of Vidalia High School’s new science and library complex.

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The addition — funded through property tax dollars at a cost of $1,688,977 — has been open since Monday.

“Everyone on campus is excited about it,” Librarian Paula Crouch said.

Crouch is proud of the new library, which houses between 8,000 and 9,000 books. The school also received 12 new computers to go in the library.

“That’s pretty good for a school with an enrollment of 419,” Crouch said.

The old library was little more than the length of two classrooms, Crouch said.

“We just feel like we’re in paradise here,” she said.

A lot of work went into getting the library ready for its Monday opening.

A week ago, most of the books were still in boxes. The school system allowed four librarians from the area to come and help shelve the books, Crouch said.

“We really appreciated that,” Vidalia High School Principal Rick Brown said. “This has been an area-wide project.”

The move has helped serve as an impetus to get the library’s card catalogue fully automated, a process that began in the old facility, Crouch said.

The new science facilities will allow students to perform experiments and hands-on work that safety concerns prohibited before.

“The kids are pretty fired up about it,” science teacher Tim Herndon said.

Now that the new lab is open, classes will be able to do as many experiments as they want, Brown said.

“This building is going to be put to good use for years and years,” he said. “It’s not just here for good looks.”

The science lab is flanked on either side by science classrooms, and the school’s old library was converted into three separate classrooms last summer. The addition was built to alleviate overcrowding.

For Brown, the most important thing about the new building is that students are excited.

“Any time you’ve got kids excited about learning, you’re ahead of the game,” he said.

While construction setbacks delayed the opening, Brown said that he had been adamant that the building open before the end of spring semester so that this year’s graduating seniors could get some use of the facility.

“Even if they only go in and sit in a chair to read a paper, they’ll get to say that they used the new library,” he said.

The school will host an open house for public viewing of the facility from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 24.