KASSON— It was a trip down memory lane for the class of 1966 on Friday. For many, it marked the first time since graduation that they would revisit their old school.
With the K-M high school's $39.8 million addition nearing completion, the class of 2017 and Principal Trent Langemo led the group of about 30 alumni on a tour of the new facilities. The first leg of the tour brought the group to the commons.
"We're into the third and final phase of our construction project. We're almost done," Langemo told the group. "The building is open for all of you. Feel free to make yourselves at home."
Tables, blue chairs and a metallic KoMets logo emblazoned on a pillar welcomed the group into the new commons area. An open concept for students and families to enjoy spending time together during sports matches, as well as for students to study and congregate during school hours.
There are many differences between the class of '66 and that of 2017. The class of '66 had only 66 students. The class of 2017 has around 152 seniors. Parts of the school were just parking lots back in the day. During the tour, many of the alums looked stunned. Scattered "wows" could be heard as they were introduced to the new STEM wing with its three-dimensional printer, the new industrial tech rooms, as well as the nearly completed auditorium and gymnasium.
Langemo shared that many of the classes are utilizing Chrome books and the Internet within their curriculum, which was certainly different from the mostly paper resources used back in '66.
The new band and choir rooms were a pleasant sight to those who remembered their days learning instruments and singing melodies.
A brand new weight and fitness room with exercise equipment will soon be accessible to the entire community. More details on the program will be available soon, Langemo stated.
Comments on the renovations
"I'm happy our community is doing well. I can hardly remember any of the building. I'm really proud of the school … it's gorgeous. Especially the new industrial tech rooms." — Dennis Aarsvold, class of '66.
"It's quite different. We are lucky and very blessed to learn in an inclusive environment. It's been an awesome first week." — Marisa Alvarado, class of '17 senior officer
"There were no stairs going to any upper floors. It's so interesting hearing what the class of '66 had and seeing what has changed. I honestly had no idea how big the commons would be." — Julia Evans, class of '17 senior officer
"This makes you want to go back to school. It's so unbelievably awesome. Just everything about this place. There was nothing similar to it back then. We only had one gym. It's pretty impressive." — Jeannine Allen, class of '66
"My husband and I were both K-M graduates. Over there, it was all grass. We would have to walk 200 yards to cross the street. This place is just beautiful. Now, this place looks just like a big city school." —Karen Jorgensen Swalla, class of '66
"I've only been here for three years, but in education for 40. I'm very proud of this project, and seeing K-M having so much opportunity for these students, it's a great thing." —Dave Kennedy, Industrial Tech teacher.