COOLIDGE — Among some school districts like Coolidge Unified and Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology, students have been back in school for a month.
And while there are always plenty of preparations that must be completed before the start of every school year, for CAVIT those preparations extended beyond routine campus maintenance this past summer.
Prior to the beginning of the school year, CAVIT staff completed a number of renovations and improvements at the career and technical education school's main campus.
According to Abel Sepeda, director of facilities and maintenance, the intention behind the changes is to improve student safety and engagement. The changes were presented to the Governing Board during the Aug. 7 meeting.
Updates included renovations to the school's fire science classroom, where an interior wall that separated the classroom from the program's garage was knocked down to give students more space to do their physical training indoors.
In addition, an air-conditioned storage facility was added behind the classroom, giving students a place to store their gear.
But the fire science classroom was not the only area of the campus that was redesigned to make more room.
Walls separating the classroom from an office space and storage facility within the veterinary assisting program were also torn down to provide additional classroom space as student enrollment continues to grow.
Other changes to the campus include the addition of a reception desk within the medical assisting classroom, giving students an opportunity to interact with incoming patients as they would in a professional setting.
Beyond adding space or enhancing the design elements of classrooms, school safety was also among the priorities CAVIT attempted to address through its campus update — adding vinyl to all the exterior windows to prevent outsiders from seeing in.
"We can see out, but people can't see in anymore," Sepeda said.
The purpose behind the change, he noted, was to improve security around the school.