Update: PCC preps for move to DHS

Hannah Wills, Reporter

It is official- Pueblo Community College will be moving into Durango High School at the end of this school year. The recent 9R press conference officially released the college move into DHS. Students can expect a significant change of atmosphere and structure of the school next year. Students will now have access to concurrent enrollment without having to go anywhere. However the safety of students has become a prominent concern for teachers, parents and students themselves.

    The West Wing of the High School will be converted by Pueblo Community College to fit their needs and ensure the safety of all DHS students. There will also be significant amounts of security added to the school to help ease the concerns of parents.

    9R Superintendent Dan Snowberger, shares that the community is in need of more employees in various specialties. Having the college move into to the high school will allow students to graduate with an associates degree so they are able to contribute to the community by filling in some of those jobs.

    “It allows students to move in that direction [getting degrees before graduating high school]. It is targeting the need and providing opportunities,” said Snowberger.

    Snowberger believes that they are matching the needs of the community, but also providing a great convenience to students. The two populations at the high school will also be kept completely separate, unless students are taking college classes.

    Patty Erjavec represented PCC at the 9R press conference, elaborated on the security measures that they are taking so far such as: having separate bathrooms, entrances/exits, adding security, having a controlled entrance.

    “We too are concerned about the safety of our students and our faculty and our staff. We can’t stand up here promise you that a situation like that will never occur, but we can promise you that we are going to take every action possible to make sure that the high school is safe,” said Erjavec.

    Can students, parents, and staff help but wonder whether the safety of themselves and their children are being put at risk? Individuals at the press release had similar concerns and many questions. A question that was pretty prominent was the environment of DHS and continuous safety concerns.

    “There will be some designated, separate parking for PCC students from DHS students. The entrance to PCC will be on the south end of the building over there by the tennis courts. A Durango High School student that wants to take a class being offered in the PCC section of the campus will exit the front doors of the high school and come in the that entryway. The hallway will be separated by alarmed doors,” said Snowberger.

    Todd Jolley, a DHS teacher in the West Wing, will be having to move his classroom next year when PCC moves. He was apprehensive when the move was first announced, but after learning the details of the transition and the benefits of having the college on the DHS campus.

     “It might be a little rough at the start, but it will be a great partnership. It not only gives our students more opportunities, but the students at PCC, as well. After all, we’re here to serve students. This may be inconvenient for some staff members moving and combining classrooms, but teacher comfort is secondary to student success ” said Jolley.

    Overall PCC’s move into DHS is going to have many benefits for not only the college students, but also for DHS students. Although change is hard, it does not mean that it is always a bad.

*Mr. Jolley is the Journalism Adviser for El Diablo, and therefore is normally not interviewed for stories. However, he was the only available teacher that is going to be moved from the West Wing pod. Mr. Cash and Ms. Gozigian will also be moving, but weren’t available for interviews.