Cutting Edge Addition Promises to Provide Myriad Opportunities for Students
By Amber Lau
March 3, 2023
Artist rendering of the exterior of new addition.
WHITE PLAINS--The district has some exciting plans for new construction at WPHS that will provide many new opportunities for future classes. The current building that houses the high school’s IT and Staff Development Center, family center, and nurse coordinator services will soon be demolished and replaced with a new building. This new structure will be named the “I” building, and about half of this building will be used for students and classes while the other half will be used for administration.
The demolishing of the old structure will begin this summer, and the hope is that construction will conclude somewhere between Fall 2025 and Spring 2026. The “I” building will be three stories high and will have a bridge connecting the new building to the 2nd floor of the High School, allowing for access from our main building. With new Career and Technical Education programs, art and dance classes, and much more, there are so many opportunities for future White Plains High School students to look forward to.
Artist rendering of new I building and sky bridge.
Prior to the pandemic, there was already a need for new space for new programs such as the Career and Technical Education program. The administration advocated for these programs primarily because, through these programs, students can learn about and gain hands on experience in the technology and culinary fields without having to leave the school to commute to BOCES for half the day.
The new building will house courses in networking, IT, and cybersecurity, providing students with the opportunity to explore different professional fields right here in our high school. Additionally, the plans include the building of a medical suite with hospital beds, designed for aspiring nurses to gain hands on experience before college. The I Building will also contain a culinary arts program and a café, where students can make and serve food. The hope is that the ingredients that the café uses will be grown by our school’s horticulture classes, allowing more students to get involved and contribute to these incredible projects.
Artist rendering of interior classrooms and offices.
School leaders are invested in fostering their students’ interests in the arts. As such, it was determined that all art classes would be moved to this new building because our current art rooms were not specifically designed for art. I building will house a new ceramics room, photography room, and studio art rooms, and will also include a new fashion program, digital lab, sculpting room, jewelry-making room, and horticultural classroom. These new spaces will be much more suitable for art, as they will all have bright lighting and high ceilings. There will be a new art gallery to display student pieces adjacent to the café, allowing for students to observe artwork by their peers while enjoying refreshments. Additionally, as a result of increased student interest in dance, the new building will contain a dance studio. All of these new opportunities will help harness the creativity of our students while allowing more students to get involved in what truly interests them.
The new building will also include a Life Skills Apartment as well as a Student Enterprise Space, all dedicated to special needs students. The Life Skills Apartment will contain a kitchen, laundry room, and other facilities where these students will learn how to complete everyday tasks as part of their curriculum. The Student Enterprise Space will essentially be a school store where students can learn the skills of selling and stocking goods. Through all of these programs, students will be able to be able to provide a service to the school community while also learning life skills that they will utilize in the future.
Lastly, each floor of WPHS’s I building, will house a collaboration space, which is effectively a common area for students that will encourage them to work together. Rather than trying to work on group projects together on the floor of the hallways, there will soon be spaces dedicated for this. A Family Medical Center will also be developed in this new structure, which is a clinic with a nurse practitioner who will provide students in need with healthcare. It was determined that the Family Medical Center would be a beneficial addition to the school because studies showed that students with access to these services are more likely to stay in school.
New C Building construction plan.
After the art classes are transferred into I building, our current C-Corridor will now hold STEAM classes and additional classrooms after more work is done. Although this is a significant change, our current classrooms are far more suitable for this type of learning.
Overall, there are many reasons for this change, and although it is a lengthy project, the completed project will be extremely beneficial to future student and staff members, and will make White Plains High School one of the premier learning institutions in the country.