Story by Anna-Maria Gardiner and Becca Spilka 

A herd of football players treads from the school to the new healthscience building, and junior Alec Deboer is eager to see the renovations and new sports equipment.

He was pleasantly surprised when he walked in the building to find a brand new facility with impressive additions.

“I think it is a huge improvement from what we used to have, not that what we used to have was bad,” Alec said. “There is just a lot more room in the building and it is really convenient having the locker rooms, weight room, and trainer all in the same place.”

The idea of the new health science building originated from the previous principal, Greg Morton. From there, trainer Mack Harvey and football coach Tom Knotts used ideas from other schools and colleges to finish off the plans.

After the building was completed, the next challenge was moving the equipment.

“Moving everything to this building was tedious but went very smoothly,” Harvey said. “Coach Dixon had to move the weight room, so he had football players help him transfer all of the heavy equipment over. We also had a company move some of the major equipment over the summer.”

Students in the health science classes are also benefiting from the new building. Student trainers, for example, are now receiving hands-on experience with proper facilities that mirror courses in college and professional athletic programs.

“As a trainer, the new building allows us to give the athletes the individual space they need to do their therapy and I get to learn a lot more by being able to see the therapy done and watch the athletes’ progress,” senior and trainer Haley Krabbe said.

The achievements from Dutch Fork sports teams over the past three years have proven the school to be a top competitor in athletics with a dedicated student body.

“The sports program at this school is very impressive, and we have many students that work very hard in all they do,” Knotts said. “Facilities like these are not only beneficial to the students and athletes, they are very well deserved.”

With Coach Noah Dixon’s class moving out of the old weight room, a vacancy was left that was perfectly suited for a new drama room. The room had to be renovated to fit the needs of the drama program and equipped with costume storage, prop and shop storage, and a dressing room.

“I really like the space because it’s bigger which means there’s more area for everyone, and it shows a lot of support for the drama program,” freshman Maddie Jones said.

The new drama room is much closer to the auditorium, a stark contrast to last year’s distance with the drama room on the first floor on the opposite side of the building. Along with this, the new room will allow for new opportunities.

“The renovations will definitely have a positive effect, especially since we will be able to create in a much bigger way thanks to the new room,” junior Eliza McLeod said.  “It’s going to be awesome to be able to make new set pieces and scenery ourselves.”

Coaches, teachers and students are enthused about the renovations that have been made this year. From the new health science building to the new drama room, Dutch Fork is looking forward to continue growing and benefitting from these changes.

“Our goal with all of the renovations was to organize things to where teachers can plan and execute what they need to do in the most efficient way,” principal Dr. Greg Owings said. “We are hoping that these changes help improve the school as a whole.”