ISHPEMING — Summer recess is coming to an end but some local students will have a lot to look forward to as construction finishes at their high school.

Closner Construction in Marquette started work on Westwood High School’s media center and auditorium back in May. Three months later, the $1.5 million project is nearing completion.

The new media center, which has taken on a dual duty as a digital design lab, was finalized. Crews will be furnishing and connecting the fixed computer stations as well as portable devices next week.

“Now students will have a lot of space to spread out,” said NICE Community Schools Superintendent, Bryan DeAugustine. “There will still be plenty of room for hard copy books, but our idea is that they take their research and the things they are learning in class and they create hands on projects that they collaborate on together and work in groups to complete.”

Athletes and students dual enrolled at Northern Michigan University have already gotten a sneak peek at the renovated area.

“It’s really funny to watch their eyes light up. They seem to be really excited about the possibilities of this new facility,” said DeAugustine. “It really fits the modern day image that we’re looking for here at Westwood High School and the students seem very excited to get their hands on the new equipment that is about to arrive and put the space to use.”

The auditorium will be complete at the end of October. Most exterior and noisy interior construction is complete so there will be minimal disruption when school resumes.