About a year ago I asked the forum to suggest points for consideration on this site, and received some very good ones, which either quickly or eventually got implemented. Over the past year the site has been partially recast in HTML5, and that which is not, is at least valid HTML5 markup. Just like the completed sections, the full transformation will come along in time.
I've also played with the CSS to enhance the old site as much as one could within reason, and without disruption of the old layout. The real work has been done on the server side, where much of the old fixed HTML has been supplanted with template snippets, made to reduce duplicate blocks of static code, and also be smart enough to have some location awareness for the purpose of highlighting buttons and tabs. The entire site utilizes a single 'smart' footer include, and pulls PHP from single, 250 line library. As before, some pages are index.php containing only the PHP needed for that 'TAB', and to direct traffic, but now they also hand off some of the load to the library.
By bringing full scale uniformity to the static and generated pages of the site, I've found that the site is much smoother and quicker than before. Error tracking is a cinch, and most editing and updating is now done on small, dedicated includes rather than the main page, making for less page breakage (and more predictability) during updates.
Our database has been overhauled to allow software to recognize four states on a course: Register, Reserve, Static, and Gone. This was done without restructuring the data, just extending one of the existing flags stored in the data to include additional states. The Course section PHP checks for a Gone status, and returns a 410 with redirect to the index if found, otherwise, it spins the course page. At present, only about half of the database is in one of the three 'active' states, which cuts down on the number of pointless pages.
This upgrade to an old site, without any fundamental changes in the original layout, is a work in progress. Now that I have finally achieved the uniformity set out to accomplish, I can take a closer look at finer details and issues; ergo, posting it now for critical review. Thanks in advance to all who contribute in this process.