ISHPEMING — As students filed out of Westwood High School for summer vacation, construction crews piled in to start work on some major renovations.

Crews are hitting the half-way mark in work on Westwood High School’s media center and auditorium. The project pulled just over $1.5 million from the school’s sinking fund, which was approved by voters just a few years ago. Each year, the committee in charge of the sinking fund chooses a summer project based on highest priority issue.

“The building was built in 1974 and all the equipment in both the auditorium and media center was original equipment so it was getting pretty dated'” said NICE Community School Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine. “Even though it served us very well, we wanted to make sure our students had the best opportunities to pursue fine and performing arts, which we take very seriously here at NICE Community Schools. In our media center, we wanted to make sure we had the best technology available.”

The auditorium renovations will reflect a Chicago- or Manhattan-styled theater. The media center will be transformed into a digital learning design lab similar to what may be found at Google or Facebook headquarters. Both will be equipped with updated technology.

The media center is slated to be done in late August with the auditorium’s completion close behind in October.