Teachers and students work around renovations at Richland County High School

Renovations are on track to wrap up in December of 2020

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 6:30 PM

OLNEY, Ill. (WTHI) - Chelsea Puckett has taught chemistry at Richland County High for nine years.
For the first eight years, things were business as usual. However this year things are a little different.

Puckett says, "We have teachers that are teaching without their regular desks. No flooring. Bringing in rugs for kids to sit on so that they're getting away from the dirt. We're just learning how to do things in a different way this year."

Floors were stripped as asbestos was removed from the school. During the summer the school's auditorium was also demolished.

Renovations will begin ramping up in just about a month. Meaning students and teachers will be working around even more construction.

Superintendent Chris Simpson explains, "I believe the most important thing that is happening in the school is what happens in that classroom between the teacher and the students. And our teachers are really going to set the tone."

Richland County encountered a number of headaches during the school's first week. That includes air conditioning failures and water issues. Simpson says he is confident they will continue to address and fix any issues.

Simpson says, "We know it is going to be an unusual year, but our expectation, I think the expectation of our community, the expectation of our teachers is that effective teaching continues to take place and learning."

Puckett says it's all about working together.

Puckett says, "I haven't heard a kid complain except when it's a little dusty from time to time. So I think their attitudes helped us to know that it's going to be ok."

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