Dowagiac Union High School undergoes $37 million upgrade

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (WNDU) - "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students and a big gift from our community,” Principal Kelly Millin said.

Dowagiac Union High School is in the process of a major renovation, the first in at least 25 years.

Millin says all of this wouldn't be possible without their generous community.

“You know, parents and our community and our tax payers are the ones making this happen,” Millin said. “It was a gift. They're excited to see the changes. They want to see updates. Top priority was safety.”

Those new security procedures include moving the main office toward the front in a secure location and also implementing a buzz-in system for visitors.

But the renovations weren't just security-based.

All classrooms were completely redone, now fully equipped with smart boards.

For all core classes, students will receive a Chromebook to use.

The new technology is what one student enjoys the most.

“I like all of the new technology,” sophomore Amelia Grote said. “The old lighting, I could barely see the paper when I was writing on it. But now they have all of these new lights and it's actually bright and you can actually change it. I like how they have new smart boards that you can write on.”

There are also collaborative learning spaces for students, as well as private offices for teachers.

“I would say that our kids are going to be able to compete, will compete and do compete with their peers across the state and across the nation,” Millin said.

With renovations still being worked on, some classes are being held in swing spaces like the media center.

But being that it is still early September, students are most grateful for one thing.

“It’s a lot better than what it was,” Grote said. “We have air now!”

Classes are back in session at Dowagiac Union High School, but there are still some renovations left to be done. Those include a brand new gym, as well as some upgraded science labs. All renovations are expected to be done in December.