Phase 3 of the new project is being funded by the Federal Impact Aid Grant.
Phase 1, which includes the two-story building with classrooms, computer labs and administrative offices on the west side began last week. As phase 1 is going up, some of the demolition will begin with abatement of the remaining asbestos. The abatement will be professionally monitored under a strictly controlled environment.
Most of the asbestos clean-up is in the ribbed transite panels that make up the exterior walls. The abatement time will take longer than the actual construction. All demolition will be complete before students are allowed in the new classrooms.
For now, all students and staff members will be moved to other parts of the current Tuba City High School campus. Some classes will move to the math, science and language arts areas. Some classes will be relocated into the Warrior Pavilion.
The entire building process is set to take about nine months.
The new building will then have more classrooms, which will add to the current curriculum choices for TC High students. There will be programs that will offer the very latest in technology assistance and research particularly in the vocational education areas.
“It is certainly a privilege to be here in the beginning stages of an exciting new building for our existing and new incoming students,” said TC High Principal Adelbert Goldtooth. “It’s a historic day to break ground and make way for the new $6.5 million dollar construction upgrade. I am grateful that our students could be here to witness this historic occasion because this building is for you and for your educational benefit.”
“I want to thank Mr. Goldtooth for getting us through the funds process and starting the construction process,” said School Superintendent Dr. Hector Tahu. “I also want to thank our governing board for allowing us to take the initiative to dream about a new building and all its possibilities. I also want to thank each and every student here today with us for choosing Tuba City District schools to enhance, enrich and round out their education. This building and all we do is for you. I again thank you, and say, ‘Lets move forward.’”
Thomas Hatathlie, traditional Navajo medicine man, said prayers and sang a building blessing song, along with Adair Klopfenstein, TC High teacher. Also present were representatives from the Hopi Tribe and the architects, who have worked with Tuba City District on various other construction projects.
The new TC High construction project will follow Indian Preference policy.
For more information on education programs at Tuba City High School, call Principal Adelbert Goldtooth at 928-283-1047. For construction information call Ron Begay, TCUSD construction manager, at 928-283-1167.
(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer is Public Relations Director for Tuba City Unified School District.)