LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Lockport High School students are starting the new school year with some new amenities.

Among the improvements are new classrooms, a new soccer and lacrosse field, as well as makeovers for one of the gyms, and a new cafeteria.

The district added something called the STEM hub at the high school. It's computer lab, meets classroom, meets meeting space — a spot where students and teachers can collaborate in a more relaxed learning environment and work on tech-based projects.

"STEM careers are definitely an area that the field is booming. Now we need to make sure that in our high school, we are creating experiences and opportunities for students to meet those needs and demands," said principal Dawn Wylke.

There's also a greater focus on career pathways and making sure students are getting different opportunities in high school that will better prepare them for the working world and college.

To do that, the school is combining regular high school class work with college-affiliated courses and internship opportunities with local businesses.

"This year business and marketing are the first ones we are getting up off the ground. Moving forward to next year, we are looking at construction and trades, education, STEM, engineering, and manufacturing. We have a lot of foundation courses already, but it's really all about bringing them together in a nice package," said Wylke.

Last year, Lockport High School paired students who are interested in teaching with teachers in the district so they could get some hands-on learning experience.

Wylke said new education standards from the state place a greater focus on life skills, critical thinking, inquiry, and problem solving.

Lockport High School also got a new combination soccer and lacrosse field. 

"It's not just about the athletic portion. It's going to supplement our physical education program which is part of the curriculum, which is absolutely wonderful. They will be able to come out here and do so many different things. I think that's very beneficial for all of the kids in the high school whether you're an athlete or a student," said Todd Sukdolak, director of health, wellness and athletics.

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