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No surface to be left untouched in update of The Woodland Hills Academy

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
The Woodland Hills Academy School, built in 1917, originally served as Turtle Creek High School.

Crews will paint walls, rebuild stairs and replace doors as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation of The Woodland Hills Academy.

Officials estimate it will cost $12 million to $15 million to update the building, the former Turtle Creek High School on Monroeville Avenue.

Woodland Hills school directors approved the project in a split vote in May after disagreeing over whether to put money into the school, which was built in 1917, or spend it elsewhere.

“Money will always be a debate,” said Kia Williams of Turtle Creek, a mother of four children who attend Woodland Hills schools. “However, the importance of education and our children should always be put first. Investing money into education is a wonderful thing.”

As part of the renovation, crews will replace front steps, paint lockers and install an elevator. They will fix drinking fountains, remodel restrooms and improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

The Academy houses classes for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Mechanical work and installation of some light fixtures has started. The renovations are scheduled to be finished next year.

“I know that change can provoke both excitement and anxiety,” Academy Principal Kelly Berthold said.

Paige Mitchell is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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