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Brightening the Climate at Opportunity School

New Opportunity School Office and Conference Room

The Shelby County – Sidney City Opportunity School recently renovated the office at Sidney High School. This area has served as a hub for students, parents, faculty and administration since 2008. The staff was faced with the dilemma to either upgrade or invest in new construction in order to bring the facility into the 21st Century. Priorities were established, a cost analysis was conducted, and a decision made by the staff to proceed using an architectural sketch designed by Greg Johnson and Hilary Davis (Opportunity School team members).

Opportunity School and Sidney High School staffs volunteered their time and talent to transform a dull, drab, inconvenient office into an up-to-date headquarters, complete with conference areas for students, family and mentors. Aged plasterboard, walls, and carpeting were torn out, old fluorescent lighting and wiring were replaced and an interior door was updated. The walls were given a fresh coat of paint, new lighting was added and a poured sparkle slab lightened the entire work area as well as the mood of staff and students.

It is clear that the Opportunity School culture is shaped by the teamwork of the entire community; from the Superintendents of Sidney and the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center to the staff, local business and students.

The academic advisors recognize that the Opportunity School environment has a profound effect on student learning including - noise level, temperature, proper lighting and furnishings. It is within this setting that students will work with their mentors, discuss issues with advisors, and make important decisions impacting their futures.

The Opportunity School staff would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their generous contributions toward the completion of the updated office: Brian Snyder, Travis Davidson, Mike Herbert, Mike Shonk, Rock Raterman, Brad Martin, Kevin Shoffner and Jason McLain. Major contributors of either money or supplies include: Sidney City Schools, the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, Elsner Painting, and Sidney Lowes. The Opportunity School Staff (Clark, Roll, Hoewischer, Barhorst, Davis Kohl, Johnson and Truster) did a preponderance of the demolition, painting and cleaning.

Direct collaboration among the stakeholders allowed everyone in the loop throughout the process, to rally support for funding, encourage participation, maintain morale, instill ownership, and facilitate the understanding of the project.

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