LAYTON -- The first phase of the Layton High School renovation and addition, a project totaling $7.5 million, is complete, adding brawn and brain space to the 43-year-old school.
The first phase consisted of a new media center, a remodeling and expansion of the Little Theater, a weight-training room and a renovated child care center, said Shauna Lund, Davis School District community relations specialist.
In addition to the interior work, the first phase included improved landscaping for the school at 440 Lancer Lane, along with a reconfiguration of its parking lot to add 50 stalls, school officials said.
"I love it. It's like I finally have breathing room," senior Patrick Wendel said of the addition.
"The new addition provides us with the most up-to-date facilities in which we can study and express ourselves," said fellow senior Chris Benson.
But just as the 1,650 students settle into their new surroundings as a result of the 15,000-square-foot interior addition, district officials announced the beginning of the second phase of the school renovation project.
Lund said this phase is a $15 million project to be paid out of the Nov. 3 voter-approved $250 million bond debt. Work is set to begin in April and is expected to take two years to complete.
The work will add fire-suppression sprinklers and 16 to 18 classrooms, and will renovate the school's commons area, cafeteria and kitchen area, making those areas most centralized within the school, Lund said.
New administrative offices and a counseling center will displace a few existing classrooms, she said.
"The big part of it is that it is going to help with student learning," said Assistant Principal Jonathan Gochberg.
Adding fire-suppression equipment will bring the older sections of the school up to current building code and will make it safer in the event of a fire, Gochberg said.
"Phase 1 was great," he said, but the administration is excited about Phase 2, as the school is renovated and further expanded to meet a growing student enrollment.
In the next several years, Layton High is projected to add 250 students to its student body, giving it roughly 1,900 students, Gochberg said.
In keeping pace with the growth, the completed first phase of the renovation project more than doubled the size of the school's Little Theater, taking it from 72 seats to 150 seats.
The project also expanded -- through relocation -- the library from roughly 4,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
Library Media Teacher Fawn Morgan said the renovation transformed the library from what was a cavelike atmosphere to a popular place of learning by adding windows and natural light.
"More learning goes on if (the students) are in a bright-light setting," she said.
Gochberg said the library has become a meeting place for students to relax in before and after school and during lunch.
"This is the library as it should be -- the hub," he said.
The new library also includes a media room, a video production area and 48 computers, Morgan said.
But despite the popularity of the computers, many students still use the library the old-fashioned way.
"There are people that say the day of the book is dead. It hasn't happened yet," Morgan said.
Students are impressed by the addition.
"The new addition to this school is fantastic. When I sit in that library, it almost feels like I'm sitting in the Library of Congress," said senior Amy Allred.
"I like this new construction," said fellow senior Magdalene Boyack.
"It's amazingly groovy and makes our school look a lot more pristine," said senior Matthew Layton.
Other renovations include a 32-child day care in which 120 high school students on a rotating work schedule assist three full-time day care providers. The large number of students participating in the day care for school credit gives the center a ratio of one staff member for every two children.
Layton High child care coordinator Terry Rawley said the new day care replaces what was once classroom space converted to a day care.
The refurbished day care also offers a pre-school area, a child observation room with a two-way mirror for high school students enrolled in child development classes and a more accessible drop-off point for parents using the center's service.
The day care also features the work of the school's art and ceramic students, who individually designed each piece of tile bordering a portion of the walls in the center.
Did you know?
The first phase of the Layton High School addition and renovation project was recently completed. The $7.5 million project included:
* A new 10,000-square-foot media center
* A 1,000-square-foot expansion of the Little Theater
A!AA!A* A 2,000-square-foot weight room and coaches office
* Renovation of the Child Care Center
* New landscaping and 50 additional parking stalls