Excitement is building in anticipation of the Big Move. It’s expected that by mid-November, faculty, staff, and students will have moved into three brand-new areas: the Research Lab wing*, the Chemistry and Geosystems wing, and the administrative wing that includes new student common areas. The iconic front entrance dome will also be completed (see more pictures).
Construction crews worked all summer on the additions. Due to the heavy construction, all administrative offices were moved to the trailers adjacent to Weyanoke ES and visitors were asked to call in advance to ensure access to school grounds.
The 2014-2015 school year also promises to be a busy one for the construction crews, with the demolition of most of the building’s interior. To allow school to continue uninterrupted, a total of 64 “learning cottages” will be in use at TJ, 20 of them in the Weyanoke ES area. In appreciation for everyone’s terrific attitude as work goes on around them, Principal Glazer has arranged for a little treat. When the new drop-off area in the back of the building has been completed, TJ will add a much-anticipated amenity, food trucks.
The Campaign for TJ, which is raising funds to fill new and renovated spaces with equipment, technology, and more, had an amazing 2013-2014 fiscal year. It passed the watershed $2M mark at the end of May and received two major gifts in June when Cisco Systems pledged $500,000 worth of technology and China’s Tsinghua University made a $300,000 donation.
Individual giving for the year was impressive, with freshman parents contributing $250,000; past parents, $178,000; and grandparents and friends (including faculty and staff), $33,000. Nearly 300 individuals — current and past parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends — pledged or donated $1,000 or more.
This outpouring of generosity from the entire community made possible the single largest grant to the School, $670,000, which helped purchase equipment, technology, lab furniture, and fixture upgrades for the new Research Labs. After years of waiting, school leaders are beginning to see their dreams come true. Following the Partnership Fund-sponsored tjSTAR symposium and reception, both of which featured student research, Lee Ann Hennig, Astronomy Lab Director and Research Labs Chair, wrote:
“We are proud of our students’ efforts and accomplishments and welcome opportunities that showcase their enthusiasm and interest. We are also grateful for the tremendous effort that the Partnership Fund has devoted to our students’ experiences over the years and especially in the current Campaign to truly set our school on a unique track for excellence. We look forward to the newly renovated TJHSST and its amazing promise to enhance and continue our mission.”
*Research Lab Wing Includes Underclassmen Independent Research Lab
Principal Glazer has long wished for an on-campus lab where freshmen, sophomores, and juniors could conduct independent research during the school year. When the new research lab wing opens this fall, it will include dedicated space for underclassmen’s ongoing research projects. Starting in the second quarter of the 2014-2015 school year, students may elect to spend 8th period (or 1st period for students with online classes) working on their projects. Research mentors will interact with students through a new virtual platform while a TJ staff member manages the lab space.
Before they will be permitted to reserve lab space, students will need to fill out an application that includes a 2-3 page research proposal. The application can be found in summer assignments under “Independent Research for Underclassmen – Fall 2014.” Instructional Assistant Dr. Dan Burden will be accepting emailed research proposal applications beginning the first week of school. Once approved, projects will be accepted into the program on a first-come, first-served basis.
Questions about the Underclassmen Independent Research Lab should be directed to Dr. Burden at firstname.lastname@example.org.