The library media center, robotics room, technology lab and television broadcast studio at Southold High School underwent major renovations this academic year, in a $9.7 million project the district initiated last summer.
School board members, faculty and local residents were joined Friday by state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jeff), Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Supervisor Scott Russell for a tour of the renovated facilities led by student guides, or ambassadors, sporting Southold-branded uniforms.
At the unveiling, board president Paulette Ofrias said most of the modifications had been completed during the summer.
“I have never been more proud of being a part of this school district, and our students,” Ms. Ofrias said.
The new technology facility has spaces devoted to different sciences — robotics, metal and wood shop, and electronics and web software — though there’s a lot of crossover.
Southold technology education teacher Matt Pfister said the metal lab has a new welding set and table and a computer numerical control machine, or CNC, that uses lasers to cut and shape metal.
More CNC equipment is expected to arrive at the school, he said.
“It’s very versatile. This one’s a laser, the other one will be a router,” he said of the CNC. “If you wanted to make a complex part that would take a lot of time to fabricate … you can actually cut it out here with a laser, then fabricate them by welding them together.”
Southold High School junior Molly Tuthill takes a physical engineering class with Mr. Pfister. She presented part of the wood shop to tour groups. She said the room is used by multiple classes.
“Other classes that work in here are DDP, Design and Drawing for Production, seventh- and eighth-grade tech, woodworking, architecture and robotics class,” Molly said.
Mr. Pfister’s 2016 woodworking class manufactured the wood cabinets that house items in the school’s museum, student ambassador Benjamin Ward said. The museum was started in 2016 after students from an AP Government course organized historic documents that were saved in the school building, he said.
Tour groups were also brought to the broadcast studio, completed in September. It’s mainly used by the school’s SOHO TV News, said English teacher James Stahl, and has new desktop computers, a green screen and anchor desk.
“As of today, we have 114 episodes,” added student producer Anakin Mignone. “We haven’t missed one episode for 108 weeks.”
The tour concluded in the library, where Superintendent David Gamberg acknowledged Southold taxpayers for their financial contributions to the district.
“We are very proud of our school district and it’s many accomplishments, and the taxpayers of Southold very wisely have invested in their schools to continue to see them grow,” he said.
Mr. Russell said the building renovations will “prepare kids for the future.”
“This is going to benefit the current generation and generations for years to come,” he said. “It’s going to make kids very competitive in a new economy.”
Photo caption: Board president Paulette Ofrias, Sen. Ken LaValle and Superintendent David Gamberg during the unveiling. (Kate Nalepinski photo)