Friday, January 30, 2009

One Year Ago Today

Hey Folks,

One year ago today the first blog posting went out on our new WHS!

I have enjoyed sharing what I could with the community and hope it has been informative and inspiring to read these posts over the last year.

In recognition of the progress we have made I invite you to review the first post of January 30, 2008.

January 30, 2008 click here

I truly hoped to return to those locations and photograph them as they appear today. But, it is just toooo cold and windy to go over there today and shoot. Maybe over the weekend I will get out and do that.

We have come a long way and there are just a few hundred days left on the countdown. It is an exciting project and I continue to be proud of the accomplishments of our county commissioners and school board for carrying our new school construction forward in these difficult times.

Onward and upwards,

Monday, January 26, 2009

Last Aerials of 2008

These are the last aerials of 2008
taken from a flyover on December 13, 2008.
This image above is an approach from the west. The small green patch in the upper left is the Boone Greenway. The ridge in between that and our campus remains forested. It is mostly property owned by ASU. I hope someday there can be a forested trail spur off the Greenway along that ridge. Perhaps even a cross country trail could find a place in there someway.
Text Color
This view is flying in from the West.

I was happy to see some relatively close-up photos in this flyover. This is the main building and you can clearly see the three features: classroom wings, commons, and main gym, theatre, and entry lobby.
The areas read clockwise from bottom: Area 1 (at 6:00)
Area 2 (at 8:00) Area 3 (at 9:00) Area 4 (top center 12:00)
Area 5 (middle of building) Area 6 (3:00)
This is a nice zoom in on Area 2 (the middle classroom wing).
You can see our brick and block divisions and inlay accents.

All aerial photos are taken by SKYSITE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Skysite Aerial Link


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today from the Driveway

As we come out from under the freeze I stopped by the site to take the most recent photo. One reader had pointed out that the 1-20 photo was an older one. That is true, only the Flag added in was new in that photo. (Which we will have to determine where to place our flag pole soon).

This view above shows the progress from the North end of campus. Most notably, area 4 , the commons, areas 3, and 2 show changes.

You will note that area 3 looks pretty much complete from the exterior. Windows are installed and the roof is completed. This is true for much of are 2 as well.

Looking closely at Area 4 one will notice the walls going up on the north end. While it is still wide open the length of Area 4, as seen just below the roof, this section is beginning to be closed in. I have annotated this photo in the next image so you might be able to orient within the building.

There is an excellent article in the High Country Press this week about the progress of this project. You can read it at this link:
Only 554 days left on the countdown!
Thanks to all who sent artifacts from 1-20-2009. Sorry I could not post them all on this blog. Perhaps they will find a place in your memory box for your children. ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

I hope everyone at home, at school, at work, any place in the state and nation could stop and pay attention.

I wish some way, some how, it could be announced that:

"all students and parents who will not be in school, should create one artifact that commemorates this event. This is your history, english, social studies, and art homework and "no day" assignment!"

Make a collage, cut out pictures, draw something, cut out words from magazines that inspire you, write a paragraph, tell a story, take a picture of you, your family, your friends, spin an opinion, make a music mix...

"Just make some type of personal response to this historic and peaceful transfer of power in the leadership of the government of the United States...

"The artifacts you create today will teach your children in years to come."

Here are a few comments sent today from readers (please send me yours):

B.......I agree with you 100%. I've often thought how remarkable it is that in this great nation of ours we do this peacefully every four years. In spite of our many differences, we respect the constitutional mandates, and no one tries to change it.

No one riots in the streets if the election doesn't go to suit his ideology; no one tries to use military force to try to hold onto power that is no longer his; and, like it or not, people go along with the transfer as outlined in our constitution.

We truly do live in a remarkable country. There has never been another like it. Even if people don't do any of the things you suggested, I hope that everyone will at least use this "no day" to watch history unfold on television. Peace and Hope to all of us!

from.... L...WHS ALUM... Class of 03......from DC on the mall today!.....

From especially proud today to be a citizen of the United States of America.

From E....WHS Alum ...Class of '97.....

From K....WHS Alum Class of 86....This poem resonated with me about today:


To laugh often and much;

to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;

to leave the world a bit better,

whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

from G... WHS Alum.. Class of 93...

My 7-year-old son and mother baked an Obama cake to commemorate this day. I can hardly wait. ;-) Great assignment! Thanks :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009


Keep warm out there folks!

I stopped by the site this morning and saw construction workers heading into the building. It is -.3 degrees up here in the high country today! I am sure the winds whipping through the school site are driving the chill factor into the negative teens. BRRRRRRR.
It has been so cold that our solar powered webcam batteries are chilling out!
Hopefully we will have our live cam up again soon.

I appreciate Mike Kesterson, our CCM, and our contractors for planning this project in such a way that there would be plenty of indoor work to be done on these cold winter days.
And to all the workers, keep warm, stay safe, and thank you.

I'm sure those space heaters are roaring today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How do Stairs Get into a Stair Well?

Seeing the empty stair wells all walled in and closed off one might wonder how you get the stairways, landings and steps into the well through the small doors.
The photo above shows an empty stair well. There will be windows at each landing! Our stairwells are for emergency egress only (the doors will lock upon exit). The main movement up and down between floors will take place within the commons area.

Anyway, back to the question, they are built from the ground up, flight by flight, floor by floor.

Using a hoist, block, and tackle, the metal treads and risers are assembled within the stair well.
Slowly building upon themselves as the climb the stairwell.
Perplexing notion, why do they call it a stair well when it is really a "stairs-well". ;-)
By the way, there is an article in the Watauga Democrat today that states we are 54 days ahead of schedule on the project. You heard that three weeks ago here first! ;-)
Oh, and BTW, the photo on the front page of the Wednesday Jan. 14 Democrat is not our school. It is not at all like what we are building. This was one of the earliest, preliminary designs under development by Sfla Architects. That idea and location was abandoned in preference of the design we have now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nice Morning Light

I was looking at the webcam this morning and caught this interesting light. I am always amazed at the "surreal" nature of light when the sky appears dark and the ground light. (I say surreal because this is the inverse of natural light which is sky light, ground dark).

This occurs frequently here in our mountains when there is a storm approaching from the west and there is a low angle, early morning light from the east.

The morning light shoots in under the clouds lighting the ground while the sky remains dark. Thus in this photo the building is lit, but the back ground sky is dark.

We will enjoy a wonderful morning light on our new campus.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Area 2 Framing In Now

This post and the following post will show the comparison of two different stages of construction in the wings.

This is Area 2. It is the middle academic wing. Area 2 is now being framed in and infrastructure (electrical, water, fire, sprinklers, hvac) installed . Area 2 is less finished and doesn't have windows yet. Hence, no drywall or wall board is in place.
I really like the line and perspective in this photo and the patterns which the play of light and shadow create on the floor.

The two openings in the middle of the photo on the right are locker bays. They will be more evident in the next post from Area 3. But, you can see the openings and get the general idea of how they are framed and set into the hallway walls.
This view is into one of the classrooms. Most all of the rooms have a foyer, or entry way just outside the door into the hallway. Some rooms are offset to the adjacent classroom.
This is a better shot of the foyer space outside the classroom door.
This is the interior of a classroom. This is in Area 2 and you will note there are no windows in place yet. It was very cold that day, but work was progressing and numerous space heaters were warming the workspace. Once the windows are installed drywall and wall board can begin to be put in place.
Area 2 is one step or phase behind Area 3 in completion. Compare the framing photos above to the similar photos in the next post below.

Wall Board Going up in Area 3

This is part two in a two part posting. In this post you will see basically the same shots as in the post above, but they were taken from within Area 3.

Area 3 is the first wing being completed. For your reference it is the short wing on the north west side of the main building. Wallboard is being installed in the halls and drywall inside of the rooms.

No, the walls are not going to be purple. ;-) The color of wall board signifies its "type". As opposed to sheetrock or common interior drywall, this is a denser, more resilient, and harder type of wall board. The color helps identify the type and aids inspectors and contractors in assuring the correct material is in place.

This view is looking down the hallway and you will see numerous features that are consistent throughout the academic wings. On the left front of the picture above the opening is a locker bay inset.

This view shows the openings and how the lockers will sit into the walls of the hall way. Lockers are distributed throughout the academic wings on all three floors. This helps provide better proximity to classrooms and prevents "clustering" in small areas with a large amount of lockers like we have at the old WHS.
This is a feature that I like and think is a nice attribute to the design of the classrooms.
Each of the rooms has a small "foyer" or recessed entrance that keeps you from stepping directly into the classroom.
This is a straight on entry view to a classroom. I like the geometry and one point perspective in this photo that lead the eye on out the window on the distant wall.
Area 3 will be the first area in which we will get an early sense of the finished product. The construction progression within this complex building is counter clockwise around the structure. Area 3, then Area 2, then Area 1, 6, 5, and 4 to completion.