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Douglas High School's $30 million expansion

Posted at 8:41 PM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 19:48:38-04

Douglas High School recently completed a roughly $30 million, four building expansion project to meet the needs of the school’s enrollment numbers.

DHS is the only high school in the Douglas Unified School District and it has seen its enrollment numbers increase and those numbers are only expected to continue increasing.

Bianca Hernandez, the school’s secondary curriculum coordinator, has worked at the school for a while and said, “We were busting at the seams, we had nowhere to grow, nowhere to move.”

Plans for the school’s expansion started prior to the pandemic, but they came to a halt.

“We saw little progress during that time,” Hernandez said. “Unfortunately we had a couple classes come through that never even got to see what it was going to look like.”

Now a few years later it’s finally completed. Teachers started moving into their classrooms in phases in January. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday, March 25.

The expansion includes new science, career and technical education and special education classrooms. The school has plans to add a construction class as a new CTE class next school year.

Scarlett Hughes is a DHS alum and is a science teacher at the school. She said this new space is very beneficial to students and their learning. Hughes said, “We didn’t really have a science lab other than a shared lab, so having our own lab to actually do the science for the students to experience that has been awesome.”

The expansion also includes a new weight room which Head Football Coach Hunter Long has been looking forward to for a long time.

“It’s something that I know I myself have been wanting for a long time even when I was a student here at this school,” Long said. Seeing what we got now I think it compares and competes with any weight room in Southern Arizona.”

One of the school’s most needed spaces that the expansion includes is a new cafeteria. The school’s principal, Melissa Rodriguez said, “For years we’ve been having kids eat outside because of the lack of space in our old cafeteria.”

Now the new cafeteria has space for everyone. Student Arian Chavez said, “Everything in there is a lot better. There are a lot more seats, the lines are a lot faster in the new lunch room. So everything is just a big improvement.”

Funding for the project came from the Arizona Department of Administration School Facilities Division.