Special to The Sun
The 1950s era bathrooms, broken and creaky wood floors and outdated heating and electrical systems are gone at Edmond Public School's Boulevard Academy. The newly renovated building-the oldest in the district-now boasts new hands-on science and computer rooms, an elevator to the second floor, and up-to-date classrooms planned to enhance student learning.
“The renovations are beautiful,” said Principal Mark Andrus. “And we want to invite the public to see how the district was able to preserve the history of Boulevard while modernizing its interior.”
That opportunity will take place from 5-7 p.m. Monday when Boulevard hosts an open house for the public. Light refreshments will be served. Prior to the open house, the Edmond Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m., which the public also is invited to attend.
“This is an opportunity for alumni, current students and their parents, and citizens to walk around the building, view the changes and ask any questions that they might have about the renovations or the important work we do here at Boulevard with our students.”
The $3.3 million bond-funded renovation began in August of 2012 and took a year to complete. Reeder General Contractors did the work.
“When you renovate a school that is 90 years old, you have to be very careful,” said Bret Towne, associate superintendent of administration. “We were mindful of maintaining the character and rich history of the building but giving it the face-lift it so desperately needed. I am excited to think that we extended the life of this building for many decades,” he said.
Boulevard Academy was built in 1924 and was the first Edmond High School. Over the years, it has also served as an administration building, junior high and eighth-grade center.
“Another interesting note is that in the 1960s it served as a satellite kitchen for the district. All food was cooked there and shipped out to each of the schools,” said Towne.
Today, Boulevard Academy serves as an alternative school for students who have not succeeded in regular school programs, or who may need extra help or encouragement to stay in school.
“Our kids are having a great year, and really enjoying their beautiful work spaces. It has made a difference in their demeanor and attitudes. I am very grateful to the public for supporting the bond issue to fund the renovations,” said Andrus. “We look forward to showing it off.”