School Board Chooses New Design for New Engineering and Science Building

On Tuesday, April 25, the school board revisited the controversial topic of the new DHS Engineering and Science (E&S) building. In a 4-1 vote, the board approved a new design for the E&S building, adding a third story with additional Hub space for students.


The newly approved design comes on the heels of a decision made earlier this year to modify to building’s original three-story design to a two-story option. This decision drew backlash from DHS parents, students, and teachers, many of whom remain concerned about the anticipated population growth at the high school.


Due to the outcry, the school board members revisited the issue to determine if their original decision was the best for the high school and community. To get a better understanding of how the E&S building would affect DHS, several board members spent a whole day at the campus. During their visit, board members gained insight into what it was like for science teachers to share classrooms. They also visited the HUB during students’ Gael periods and witnessed the growing need for more spaces where students can access tutors and other resources.


When describing her visit, School Board President Megan Rouse commented  that while most of DHS’s campus felt like it had “room to breathe the HUB was a totally different scene.”  


“It was packed with students and I heard that many more students would go only if they could fit,” she continued. “The HUB [is]  doing [sic] it’s job to support the GAEL period but it could do more if it had more room. The campus has a need for more common space, even at the capacity today.”


In response to Ms. Rouse’s concerns, superintendent Dr. Leslie Boozer and DHS staff presented a new E&S Building design, with a redesigned third floor. The new design is half HUB space and half class space. Although this design does not have as much classroom space as the  original three-story plan, it will have five more classroom spaces than the two-story building option.


The approval of the new third-story design has drawn a positive reaction from teachers and parents at DHS.


The DHS Biomedical Academy coordinator  Mrs. Julianne Sundstrom thanked the board for the  new decision, calling the redesign “an intelligent and forward-thinking solution to our overcrowding challenges and program needs.”

Many students who spoke out against the two-story building decision were also happy with the outcome.


“I definitely think the school made the right choice by reverting the engineering building to three stories because jobs in engineering have become increasingly popular,” said Nile Desta, a freshman in the Intro to Engineering Design (IED) class taught by Mr. Adam Brown.  “I think it is important for the school to have resources available for students who are pursuing a career in this field.”


Older students who have experienced Gael period found the new HUB space one of the building’s most positive attributes, noting that it will help relieve the crowding and provide a quiet environment in both the library and new HUB space.


Despite the positive reaction from DHS students and teachers, not everyone in the wider community had a positive reaction to the board’s choice to reopen their decision. Several parents and homeowners from East Dublin who spoke against the new three story design at the board meeting protested the fact that the decision was even being reopened. Many cited fears that the new building would be used to divert funds from the proposed second high school in East Dublin.


Ms. Rouse, however, continues to stress that the E&S Building “is not connected to the future high school, and it does not impact our commitment and progress towards that.”