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The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

New improvements

As students explore CFHS, they will notice many new changes due to construction from a referendum.
Bowen Maki
Superintendent Jeff Sampson cuts the ribbon for the new updates during the school’s open house event.

Over this past summer, Cannon Falls Schools has undergone numerous renovations done to improve safety, air quality, classrooms, and career and technical facilities. On Wednesday, September 29th, the high school hosted an open house to showcase the improvements. The community was invited to tour the building, attend an informational presentation detailing the construction, and learn more about the Cannon Falls school system. The high school believes it is essential for the community to see the renovations and understand their importance to the learning environment.  

Exterior construction
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The construction changes many things in the school. The Cannon Falls ISD created plans for the renovations. Krause-Anderson was the general contractor who organized and completed the construction. There were also many subcontractors involved that did demolition, concrete work, ironwork, carpentry, painting, and electrical work. These renovations were funded by taxpayers who voted on a referendum to make these improvements, and donations from Gemini, the Cannon Falls Education Foundation, and Dakota Electric. 

The first big renovation pertained to the air vents in classrooms. Previously, many classrooms had individual heating and cooling systems, which were replaced with rooftop HVAC systems. The rooftop HVAC system ensures the temperature doesn’t vary drastically from classroom to classroom. These classrooms also had new walls, windows, paint, and carpet installed. The front, back, and courtyard classrooms all had the exterior walls resurfaced with a new hard layer that would keep birds from nesting in the walls.

The second big renovation occurred in the shop hallway. Equipment was moved around and new equipment was added to increase efficiency and safety for the classes. A small addition was added to the new auto shop to accommodate vehicle lifts. A new SawStop table saw, a Timesaver belt sander, and a new paint booth were installed in the woodshop. In the metal shop, new welding ventilation was installed and 10 new multi-process welders and four new downdraft tables were added. Finally, a room was created for welding gas tank storage and a new metal brake for bending sheet metal was added. The improvements done in the shop hallway are all very important for the career technical education program at Cannon Falls, as some equipment was leftover from the 1960s and needed an update.

Improvements to the interior
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Additionally, many minor projects occurred throughout the school. The nurse’s office was remodeled with new cabinets, partition curtains, flooring, and paint. The carpeting was removed from the cafeteria, the concrete floor was polished for easier cleaning, the walls were painted school colors, and decorative columns were removed for better visibility. There was also a new secure food delivery and storage area in the back of the school added to keep drivers from entering the hallways used by students. There was also site drainage work done in the courtyard and new sidewalks and curbs in the back of the school.

These changes were not all construction; there was also an Innovation Lab added this year. The money to start this was from a $100,000 donation from Gemini to the school district. This space is not intended to be a regular class but is a resource that students and staff can use to develop STEM skills. The Innovation lab is open to all students. It contains two 3D printers, a laser engraver, a vinyl printer/cutter, a podcasting and video blogging space, ten programmable drones, Sphero robots and rovers, lots of programmable gizmos and gadgets, and various other equipment. In the future, it will also have some sewing and embroidery equipment as well. Mrs. Dombeck supervises the Innovation Lab and she’s already working with students on their innovations.

With these advancements, the school is now, safer, more comfortable, and meeting more needs of education. Students are encouraged to use all of the equipment in all the areas and learn more about STEM and technical careers. 

All of these renovations have changed the school for the better. Although this construction affected nearly every area of the school, the school plans to continue improving the school — with plans already drawn up to modernize the athletic fields at the school — in order to provide the best learning experience for all its students.  

About the Contributors
Hilari Palodichuk, News Writer
Hi, my name is Hilari Palodichuk. I am a sophomore in high school and I'm involved in many school activities. I am involved in FFA, Fall Dance team, Dance team, Trap, Fishing team, Softball, and the Lantern. I also enjoy the outdoors and reading.
Bowen Maki, Media Editor-in-Chief
Howdy doodly! My name is Bowen Maki and I'm a muse with a camera. I'm a senior and I take pictures and videos for the Lantern. When I'm not behind the camera I like to be in front of it with theater, speech, and weightlifting. I have a deep love of psychology, skating, and stuffing my head with useless knowledge.