Hannahville school gets renovations

Clarissa Kell | Daily Press Rod Lovell, the superintendent of Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy and Hannahville Indian School, stands in the newly renovated cafeteria area at the school Thursday. The $2.6 million construction projects at the school began during spring break and should conclude before school starts.

HANNAHVILLE — Since spring break, the Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy and Hannahville Indian School’s building has undergone renovation and upgrade projects.

“There’s a lot of pieces — it’s like one building, seven projects,” said Rod Lovell, superintendent of Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy and Hannahville Indian School.

He explained some of the projects are based on school security, some are on aesthetics, and some improve the climate and culture within the school.

All of the projects together cost about $2.6 million.

Lovell explained the school received federal funding from several different sources for different aspects of what was to be accomplished, meaning there had to be separate projects with different bids.

All of the renovations and upgrades within the building will benefit the students, staff, facility and the community as a whole.

“It’s going to make the building much more secure with controlled limited access,” Lovell said. “(It will also) make it more of a place where the kids want to be.”

The building itself is unique because it isn’t just a regular school, but so much more. There is a kindergarten through 12th grade school system, but there is also childcare, early headstart, headstart, the family and child education (FACE) program, and an after school program for Native youth that attend school there and at Bark River-Harris.

The renovations include a new cafeteria with a family-oriented cafe style layout, an addition of a new floor above the cafeteria equipped with three new project-based classrooms, the addition of new office spaces, two new lounges for staff, new flooring in all hallways, a new main entrance into the building, two new gender-neutral bathrooms, repaint walls , the gym floor will be stripped and completely redone, new sidewalks around the school, and all three parking lots repaved.

The upgrades include a new camera system, a new security system at the two main entry points of the building and the exits, a new fire system, and a new wifi system with access points in each classroom.

Lacey Kinnart, an administrative assistant at the school, said the construction on the cafeteria and addition to another floor above it began during spring break.

The rest of the projects began after school concluded.

According to Lovell, the work being done at the school was necessary because things were worn from use and age and more space was needed.

“Some of it, like the floors and the gym, were getting worn — it’s 25 years old now. The cafeteria, it just made good sense that we needed extra space and this was a great big tall building with an echo chamber in here that we could add a second story without having to ever touch a roof,” he said.

Lovell said everything should be completed by the end of August, before students come back to school.

“And it’s looking like it’s gonna,” he said.