Construction on Watford City's New High School on Schedule

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As we cross the halfway point of construction on Watford City's new high school, notable pieces of the building are taking shape.

The project, which broke ground in July, is on schedule.

"So we've been very successful, we had a good construction winter, and we've been able to maintain most of our timelines," said Watford City superintendent Steve Holen. "So the project is going well."

The new building will include numerous upgrades for students and student-athletes.

"Football fields and the track down there also will be state of the art," said Watford City High School principal Terry Vanderpan. "We're excited about that for our sports programs too."

One upgrade in particular will benefit students involved in the fine arts.

"The biggest one is we will have a theater space in it," Holen said. "That's something the district hasn't had in the past. So we're anxious to bring back some of our fine arts programs."

The new auditorium will feature a full-sized pit and will provide a more acoustic friendly performance area.

"Right now, with the performance areas, we kind of perform in the gym, which is not acoustically the greatest," said music director Anna Schwartz. "We have enough seating, but like I said, acoustically, it's kind of too much echo."

One major hurdle that needs to be cleared is the move into the new building.

The project is scheduled to be completed next January.

"The aspect of moving mid-year is a little bit daunting, maybe not ideal in that way," Holen said. "But we're going to try to do it in January, which will be close to semester time, we're hoping."

While moving provides a difficult challenge, teachers and administrators alike are eager to make the change to the new building.

"We're very excited to be going into a new $50+ million building that's state of the art," Vanderpan said. "We'll be able to offer a lot more things for the students."

The new school is expected to have more than 800 students enrolled next year.