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Rocky's Construction Project Displays Safety, Spirit and Growth

Rock Island High School is showing off its new vibrant look that focuses on student safety and amenities.
It was a day of celebration on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. After a year and a half after breaking ground, it was time to cut the ribbon and open the doors to the brand new, secure front entrance to Rock Island High School. 
Many were in attendance at the ceremony for the much-anticipated unveiling. Speakers included RIMSD#41 RIHS Principal Jeff Whitaker, Superintendent Dr. Lawrence, Milan Mayor Duane Dawson, Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms, Board of Education President Terrell Williams, Robin Randall from Legat Architects, and AJ Loss from Bush Construction.
"The Rock Island High School expansion serves not only as a much-needed resource for students but also as a continued bridge between our school and our Rock Island community. We are dedicated to improving the city of Rock Island and opening our doors to welcome the entire community," said Superintendent Dr. Lawrence. 
Dr. Lawrence invited RIHS students from his Student Advisory Council to join him in cutting the ribbon. 
After the ribbon-cutting guests were invited inside to take a tour.
student taking a picture of new mural
The first thing you'll notice when you pull up to Rock Island High School is a red canopy that draws attention to the new main entry. All the administrative offices (main office, attendance, nurses office, athletics office) have moved from the second floor down to a new secure front entrance.
A new commons space connects the front and back additions. It's a place for studying, collaborating, or catching up with friends and teachers. A back addition doubles the size of the cafeteria and creates three new serving areas for expanded food choices. 
picture of new cafeteria
"It looks really nice and I think the rest of the students will like it when they get to see it," said Rock Island School senior Mariyah McQueen
The $10.8 million dollar project added 38,000 square feet. Revenue from the 1% Rock Island County Sales Tax was used to fund the project. Partners in the project are Legat Architects and Bush Construction.
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picture of front entrance of RIHS