Nogales High School really is going "Back to the Future" as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. The school, which opened in 1962, is undergoing a massive renovation that will literally transform it into a high school of the future.

Students and staff have been putting up with work crews who are gutting old classroom wings to remodel them. Rowland Unified is spending $8 million to refurbish Nogales High.

The science wing recently opened with new laboratories. The Nogales library has been stripped bare as crews remodel it into a state of the art facility.

And the Rowland Unified School Board has approved design plans that will add four new buildings, parking and entrance areas.

"In light of

all of the modernization that is taking place at Nogales, especially our new front entrance design being planned, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to invite the community back to Nogales to see the modernizations that have already taken place, as well as what is to come," Principal Nancy Padilla said.

Alumni won't even recognize their old high school after the massive two-story building is constructed along the front of the campus. The building will hold classrooms as well as administrative offices.

A new food services building will provide covered dining, staff lounge and multipurpose room. A super room will feature four classrooms that can open into one large area for meetings with video conferencing.

Final plans will be presented to the community this fall. Once approved by the state architect (a six to eight month process), the project will go to bid. Construction will take a year and a half.

So while the Nobles are looking forward to the future, they are taking some time to celebrate the past 50 years. They have planned special events for the entire community to enjoy.

"Celebrating 50 years is a major milestone and it has been the perfect opportunity to reach out to the past as we look forward to the future and the next 50 years of Nogales," said Principal Nancy Padilla.

"Because so many of our Nogales Nobles stay in the community or return to the community to do such amazing work, we are excited that thanks to the technology of Twitter and Facebook, we ha

ve been able to reach out to so many more alumni than ever before," Padilla added.

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