WEBSTER CITY - Over the past year, the Webster City school district has seen literal growth with a series of renovation projects.
The most recent project to be completed is the addition of a new gym at Webster City High School.
"We added a 2,250-seat competition gym, lobby, upgraded parking and added new tennis courts," Superintendent Mike Sherwood said. "We never had a gym at the high school before, so this is a much-needed addition to the school."
-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Webster City High School Senior Cambria Hoffmann films a segment for the high school’s TV station, WCTV. Over the past year, the studio has gotten new high-definition equipment that makes broadcasting easier.
Along with the addition of the gym, Sherwood said the school added high-definition cameras for sports broadcasts on the student-run WCTV television station.
"We can now do live broadcasts of events," Sherwood said. "This allowed us to expand our academic program."
Sherwood said the school also added a greenhouse, which will be a key part of the school's vocational agriculture program.
"It's been a very busy and productive year," he said. "We began committee work on our technology program and developing our one-to-one laptop program. Our enrollment has been steady, and is up this year."
The district is also making plans for more construction work. Sherwood pointed out that some of classrooms of the high school were built around 50 years ago and are in need of remodeling.
He added the other schools in the district will likely see improvements as well, including a new boiler at the elementary school.
Within the academic program, Sherwood said the school is seeing more students enrolled in dual-credit programs with Iowa Central Community College.
"Students are graduating every year with either a semester or full year of college completed," he said. "It's a great partnership we have with Iowa Central."
Sherwood said the school has also had difficulties, especially when it comes to finances.
"You need to look at where you can stretch revenues and how you can use them," he said. "It makes it more difficult to maintain programs in tough financial situations."
He said the goal is to stay focused on what needs to be accomplished, and that it's important to be aware of what's happening.
Looking ahead, Sherwood said the district has several plans on the horizon.
"We're entering our second full year of our new grading policy," he said. "I'm very pleased with how far we've come with it."
Other programs that Sherwood expects to continue include a new preschool program as well as growth in student achievement.
"We have a very dedicated and committed staff," he said. "They work very hard."