CERRO GORDO, Ill. (WCIA) — People are celebrating some big changes to a historic building in town. They held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today in honor of it.
Just a little more than 250 students walk the halls of Cerro Gordo Junior/Senior High School.
For years, the halls inside the old building looked the same, but this year it was finally time for a change.
“It’s a beautiful old building, a historic-looking building. It has good bones, which is what our architects told us, and so we started with that,” says school Superintendent Brett Robinson. “How can we make it better? How can we build on to it?”
Making it better is exactly what they did. Now, students can enjoy a brand new, air-conditioned gym, a bigger commons area for them to eat and socialize, and a whole new media library.
Many students spend preschool through high school here, and they say the changes were long overdue.
It was like, ugh, okay, same old school…but now that changes have happened…it’s just kind of like [you] wake up in a good mood everyday,” says Cerro Gordo senior Lex Lawhorn.
The $9 million renovation plan also had another goal in mind:
“Provide 21st century learning opportunities to our students in the new lab and the new classrooms…exposing them to those things before they move on from high school and onto college,” says Robinson.
Now, students can learn and work in a STEM lab and perform in front of hundreds in the new auditorium.
School officials say although the modernization is meant to improve all aspects of student life, another big change is simply how they get around the building.
Since 1962, students in Cerro Gordo passed between buildings in all kinds of weather, and now they get to do it inside under one roof,” says Robinson.
The new annex addition connects the entire building, keeping students safer and warmer during passing periods.
“It was getting kind of old going outside whenever it’s zero degrees,” says Lawhorn.
Students say taking the old and combining it with the new makes walking into school everyday feel just a bit different each time.