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Renovation, reunion on collision course

By Staff | Jul 28, 2010

Hundreds of RHS alums will converge on the town next July for the all-school reunion coinciding with the Pierce County-Rugby 125th anniversary celebration, but former students expecting to walk the halls and tour the classrooms at the Rugby Jr.-Sr. High building are in a rude surprise.

Renovation and new construction of the Rugby Jr.-Sr. High will be about three months along when the reunion is held, July 1-3.

“Work will be pretty much full swing through the spring, summer and fall at the school,’ said Dave Anderson, school board president. “It’s kind of a bummer because a lot of alums were looking forward to walking through the building, especially (1955 wing) where the renovation work will be taking place. Those rooms bring back a lot of memories.”

Toni Stevenson, one of the reunion coordinators, agrees it’s unfortunate the time frame of this building project and the reunion will collide.

Although no reunion activities are planned inside the school alumni officials expected the building would be open for people to tour. Of course, now that remains to be seen with the planned renovation.

Anderson added school officials are receptive to making part of the school accessible and will work with the architect and contractors to determine if there will be areas of the building which will be open to the public.

“We hope visitors will be understanding and see the project as a long term benefit for the district,’ said Anderson, who is an alum. They will just have to come back and see it when it’s all complete.”

School district voters approved a $6 million bond issue in June to finance major renovation and a new addition at the school. Work includes removing asbestos and renovating the classrooms on the south side, the 1955 wing. Also, building a new cafeteria, new reception area and offices just west of the current gymnasium commons.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year and extend into 2012.

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