Construction partially complete, focus shifts to East side project


Javin Smith

Construction crews continue to make progress on the East side of West Campus.

Julianna Poe, Online Editor-in-Chief

From a new main entrance to future parking expansions, Manhattan High West Campus has begun to take on a distinct, different look. With several projects completed and many more to go, the future of MHS seems promising.

“We continue to progress nicely,” building principal Michael Dorst said. “The patience that I think our students showed was pretty amazing to [get] to this point … A good amount of parking, our traffic flow [and] the availability of [another] secured entrance, it’s a long time in the waiting and I appreciate the patience that everybody [has] had.”

Concerning the West entrance, students buzzing in have seconds to enter due to the timing between the unlock and relock system.

“We are just working on the door timing, but it’s nice having a security guard there on-site at that location [since] we’re still working out the kinks,” Dorst said. “It’s nice to be able to have access on both sides during the whole school day for students … to come into the building at a secured entrance.”

This past week of rain presented an issue with using the staircase between the Sunset Zoo overflow lot and recently expanded Southwest Parking lot: mud. According to Dorst, there has been discussion about covering the area with gravel; however, the city must make the adjustment.

“It’s out of our hands … I can’t call for a load of gravel to be spread,” Dorst said. “[Laying gravel is] in the city’s hands, … but they’ve been great to work with.”

As for the incomplete East Side construction site, crews are working to connect the old and new parts of the East side building with electric and water plumbing. Leaky ceilings repairs and ceiling tile replacements are also underway and should be completed by the next school year. Construction will be concluded during the 2022-2023 school year, and according to Dorst, freshmen will merge with West Campus the following school year, 2023-2024.

“We determined not to do a merge when [construction is] done because we don’t necessarily know when that’s going to be done. We just know it’s not going to be done before school starts,” Dorst said. “We’re going to need a good amount of time to move, blend our four grades, … teachers [and] departments because we are going to be moving departments when everybody is merged together.”

Regarding parking, the three houses between Oak Street lot and the Sunset Zoo overflow lot have been purchased for future parking space. Currently, there is no timeline for the project. 

“For as much construction that we have had around us, … it’s gone about as good as it possibly could,” Dorst said. “I appreciate everybody, from our students to our teachers, our faculty, staff [and] our parents … I’ve been impressed on how everybody’s handled it.”