Senior Lot Construction Plans Take Longer Than Anticipated

Fences+in+the+senior+lot+have+been+up+for+several+months.
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Senior Lot Construction Plans Take Longer Than Anticipated

Fences in the senior lot have been up for several months.

Fences in the senior lot have been up for several months.

Fences in the senior lot have been up for several months.

Fences in the senior lot have been up for several months.

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For the past several months, the Westside Alumni Foundation has been working towards renovating the welding area as well as adding on to the senior parking lot. Director of Development, Terry Hanna, has said that though the Foundation is looking forward to the completion of the project, certain financial challenges delay the process.

“We wanted to break ground a month or two ago,” Hanna said. “But then with costs rising because of the economy and everything, we had to take a step back and just raise a few more dollars.”

Hanna’s job is to raise the funds required for the project, and he said they have $950,000, with just $100,000 away from breaking ground. The funds for the project are strictly from donations, especially from community foundations who want to support career exploration for high schools as well as companies who have an interest in welding and manufacturing. Some examples include Union Pacific, Kiewit, and Owen Industries.

“I think the Westside Foundation is excited to be a partner with the district in bringing corporate Omaha inside Westside High School,” Hanna said.

Along with increasing the size of the senior lot, construction plans also include renovations to the welding area.

“We outgrew our old lab,” said Welding and Woods Instructor, John Bombac. “But we don’t ever want to tell a student that they can’t take a class, so we needed to expand to accommodate that larger number of students coming in as well as expand our curriculum.”

Currently, the welding lab has been destroyed and welding classes are working in the garage as their temporary work space. The renovation will include a new welding lab, as well as bringing in a new welding process known as TIG, precision machining, manufacturing processes with mills, metal ways, and sheet metal work. There will also be new audio and video equipment for the lab for demonstration purposes.

While the plans are underway, senior Ceyerah Johnson said she was frustrated by the delay and disruption caused to the senior lot.

“I think it’s really inconvenient because it’s already hard enough to get out of the senior lot after school,” Johnson said. “Now with the fence, it makes it one way and so it’s even harder.”

The Westside Foundation plans to break ground on the project by the end of February and plans to have the renovations complete in time for fall 2019.

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