Eastwood, after 56 years is now undergoing a drastic change. Construction of a new, state-of-the-art classroom building has begun and has taken a toll on faculty and students. But the school spirit and pride remain, despite the dramatic transition.
BTC (Buford-Thompson Company) is the construction firm that has been awarded the contract to rebuild most of Eastwood. Theresa Shurtleff said that they are known for working on different education facilities-- adding on, rebuilding, remodeling, and building from scratch.
"We have worked in 68 different school districts and close to 500 different schools," she said. "It is not our first experience in El Paso, either. We have built Eastlake and Pebble Hills and completed projects at Socorro and the San Elizario field house.
It is this wide-ranging experience that helps them understand what a high school like Eastwood needs, according to principal David Boatright.
“BTC has been very responsive to our needs and agreeable to anything we’ve asked of them,” Boatright said. "When we have had trouble with air conditioners or something with the portables, they have taken care of things right away. It's great having them right here on site."
Although BTC has much school construction history, Shurtleff said that they are still in somewhat uncharted territory with the Eastwood project.
"This is a little different for us, since there are students right there on campus while construction is underway," she said. “We’re very excited about working for Ysleta and for the outcome of the campus. It will be very nice for the teachers and students.”
Principal Boatright said that two parts of the project will be ready in March.
“ We are a little ahead of schedule, Boatright said. "They are already hanging steel for the fine arts addition as well as the science wing addition. We are on track to move in to those areas by spring break.”
Though there are many different events and challenges taking place at Fort Eastwood right now, there are high hopes and much excitement for the new building and for what is to come.