NAUGATUCK — Students stopped Naugatuck High School Principal Jan Saam in the hallway Monday to express their satisfaction with the new “Naugy.”
“They said they were excited to be here, and thrilled about seeing all of the changes in the new wing,” she said.
The school opened its doors Monday to a new south wing, formerly known as the Goodyear House, which includes 15 new classrooms with state-of-the-art technology in the world languages and biology departments.
It is the first phase of major upgrades as part of the roughly $81 million renovate-to-new project that voters overwhelmingly approved at referendum two years ago.
On top of classrooms, the first phase includes a new main office with meeting space, and a nurse’s suite.
Nearby in the athletic wing, a renovated natatorium, weight room and dance studio are nearly complete, Saam said.
Each school department will have its own color theme. For example, the theme color of the world languages department is yellow, so there are yellow tiles mixed with white tiles in that section, along with yellow on one wall in each classroom.
The classrooms also have interactive Smart Board technology, and the ability for teachers to amplify their voices over an audio system. One wall is coated with a special paint that creates a dry erase board which students view from their new desks.
Saam was particularly excited about a new world languages lab that will have computers for every student at their own workstations.
Each computer will have a program called Sony Virtuoso, which will allow the teacher to listen to students who are practicing their languages — either individually or with each other — and give immediate feedback.
The classroom is nearly complete; the workstations are in place, and the computers will be installed within the next couple of weeks, Saam said.
Jackie Cross, a world languages teacher, said she noticed a difference in her students Monday.
“They just seem to be in a better mood,” she said. “They are excited to see what we’re doing.”