Changes in the Library: What to Look Forward to and Upcoming Construction


Jefferson County Schools, Wheat Ridge High School

Full Library and Classroom remodel

Fiona Botsford, Reporter

Can you imagine being frozen in time for 29 years? Never changing and always being the same? Well, that’s how it has been for our poor old library here at Wheat Ridge. However, things are finally changing here on the Farm. For the first time in 29 years, the library is finally getting a remodel and it’s something to look forward to! 

If you have seen the giant poster near the commons area, you probably already know about the upcoming remodeling happening to Wheat Ridge. Despite what you may think about all the changes, the library is something you should be excited about. During the summer of 2024 the library will be remodeled, giving it a whole new and better look. 

Digital teacher librarian Debbie Livingston is the decision maker in what new furniture will be in the library and is without a doubt, looking forward to having a better library. 

Livingston said, “I am super excited because it’s going to be newer, and nicer…I’m just worried about making it a better, more welcoming, more hip place where students will be like, ‘this is a nice library.’”

What are the new editions to look forward to?

Besides clean carpet and new furniture, there is so much more you should be excited about. There will be up-to-date, comfortable seating areas where people can hang out on off periods and during lunch. There will also be group work spaces designed for a more comfortable environment to study and finish school projects. 

Small Group Space, Makerspace (Jefferson County Schools, Wheat Ridge High School)

One installation I am personally interested in is the mini makerspace. Typically, makerspaces involve the use of technology, but here, they can also work on many other projects. Livingston said they are, “an area where students can work on projects, not necessarily only technology.” It’s a great place to do things “rather than just sitting with your chromebook and studying.” In this area there will be room for artwork, games to play, and even knitting/crocheting projects. The new makerspace is the perfect place to peacefully finish school work in stress free conditions.

Small Group Room (Jefferson County Schools, Wheat Ridge High School)

The second room being built also has many uses and will serve to be a very important space. Similar to the makerspace, the new room can be used for group work and whole classes. As principal Jeff Fugita said, “There will be large tables that students will be able to work in there, like a class project, separated from the library so that you could talk.” 

Livingston said this room will be “A place where videos can be made without other noise; hopefully we will have some podcast equipment… an opportunity for other students to get on board with technology and more projects.” Another amazing bonus to this room is it will also be used by whole classes! Have you ever been in the library and a whole class walks in, disrupting the flow of the library? Well, this new room can be used for class book talks and other distracting activities to make sure the library is a quiet space for working.  

A little change that could have a big impact is the specifically designated technology center. This is where students can go if they have any technology problems they need to fix or are worried about. The technology center will also allow students to help repair chromebooks, which is something we are all interested in. 

The two new classes being built (Jefferson County Schools, Wheat Ridge High School)

There will also be two classrooms built out of the back room in the library, where the blood drive was held. Construction crews will take out the mountain wall in the hallway and open it up with doors for the two classes. The best way they found to fit two classrooms in that space was to take some space from the library so they are comfortably usable. 

But, you may be wondering why these two classes are being built, but look no more, I can assume the new classes are making up for the other two that will be taken out. Yes, you heard me right, they are taking out two classrooms in the main hall to blow out the commons to make it a real commons space for students. Students can look forward to a newer and nicer commons as well as an even better library. 

As Fugita said, there will be a “total refresh of the library” so, watch out for the exciting upgrades, even though they won’t be hard to miss!

The Timeline of the Construction and Remodeling

Starting this summer, between the end of May and August, the infrastructure construction will take place. 

Fugita said, “The infrastructure which is the HVAC [heating and air conditioning], electrical, the roof, the chiller, the cooling system, the boiler, the water heater, all that infrastructure that nobody sees is all original to the building.” 

This means all the infrastructure (besides the roof which was redone at some point in the recent past) is very old and really needs to be updated. So “a good portion” (Fugita) of the bond money granted by Jefferson County Schools will be used to better the bones of Wheat Ridge. 

The good thing is, this summer’s renovation will support the much anticipated remodel to make sure the school is new and updated again. 

Fugita said, “So it should take two summers but two years.” Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing the new library for a while but at least next year we will have better upgrades for our school. 

What’s so Special About this Remodel?

This new remodel and upgrade is very important to the staff and students of Wheat Ridge High School. Our principal wants everyone to know the importance of letting students decide what their school will look and feel like. 

Fugita said, “When they design the commons, it’s really important to me, and I’ll tell the new principal that when they design the commons I want students involved in picking and selecting what’s in the commons.” He wants students to have a say in what their commons looks like because after all, it’s our space. “I want students to help pick the furniture that will be in that common area.” We students will have a say in what the school looks like, and in a couple years, we will be able to enjoy a new, clean and modernized school.