NEW LONDON, N.H. — To provide residents with vital information about the Kearsarge Regional High School building project, Superintendent Winfried Feneberg and the Kearsarge Regional School District will share the details through the District’s spotlight series.
Each week, SAU 65 will delve into topics surrounding the proposed construction and renovation of the High School STEAM Wing. In this feature story, Superintendent Feneberg and High School Principal Charles Langille discuss STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Arts, and Mathematics – and how the evolution from STEM-focused to STEAM-focused education will provide a fuller experience for students.
To view a video of Principal Langille discussing STEAM education, click here.
“When we talked about anything related to the STEM field, we talked about how to make better scientists, engineers, auto mechanics and welders, and how students would collaborate with others,” Principal Langille said. “But we learned that students were getting book knowledge but couldn’t apply it. If a problem required out of the box thinking, they often got stuck.”
“The Applied Arts bring a collaborative way of learning about all the areas of STEM,” he said.
Kearsarge Regional High School opened in 1970, and is not designed to provide a multi-disciplinary 21st century education, or allow students work collaboratively and across disciplines.
“When I walk around the High School I see our teaching staff trying to work across disciplines, but the building inhibits them because it lacks flexible spaces,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “A new STEAM Wing will both expose our students to new possibilities, and make it easier for our teachers to acquire new perspectives and techniques.”
Superintendent Feneberg adds that the new STEAM Wing will fit in with the District’s educational vision and strategic plan, and help meet the goals of providing project-based and competency-based learning.
About the STEAM Wing project
Voters in all seven Kearsarge sending communities — Bradford, Newbury, New London, Sutton, Springfield, Warner, and Wilmot — will be asked to approve the building project in March.
The proposed renovation and construction project will update parts of original classroom spaces, which are now more than 50 years old, to make them suitable for career technical education, robotics, and applied arts uses.
Additionally, the new construction would support learning and career pathways in STEAM fields, create physical learning spaces for 21st-century education and expand skills development for students not electing to pursue post-secondary degrees. A new green room for the school’s television and media programs would also be included.
The proposed new construction at the high school would include creating a new robotics lab, storage and classroom space, an expanded culinary learning space, modern manufacturing education options, updated spaces for the theater program and additional art classroom space — among other upgrades.
The renovation would also include reconfiguring and updating the existing library space, creating cross-discipline project-based learning opportunities, updating locker rooms, upgrading mechanical systems, and replacing the roof and rearranging existing facilities to improve working and learning conditions.
The project would cost $22,270,000 and would be funded via a 20-year bond. Taxpayers in all seven Kearsarge communities will share the cost.
For more information about the project, click here.