Friday, October 12, 2012

Pioneer Nation Renovation

Possible Renovation: MHS Received audits and renovation concepts from three companies. This one is from the Skillman Corp. and it includes features which may or may not be included in the final project.
by Morgan Sussman
   The Pulse staff recently had the opportunity to travel around the school with upper level administrators and a board member to look over the possibilities of renovations made to MHS.
   The school board passed a resolution Tuesday to get a $20 million bond. With this money, the school corporation is prepared to start a large-scale high school renovation project, without affecting community taxes.
   “We have right now in our community a growing homeless population, a growing free and reduced lunch number, people losing their homes, losing their jobs. And the last thing we need to do is raise taxes,” school board president Dr. Bill Roberson said. “So we’re not going to do that.”
   This renovation is estimated to take place over 15 to 18 months spanning from 2013 Spring Break to the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The project should cover several areas of the school, including the English hallway, Cafeteria, South Gym, Auditorium, Stage, APC Hallway classrooms and the outside appearance of the school.
   Listed below are the possible renovation projects.
1.   Possible changes include making it easier for students to travel between classes and benefitting students with lockers in the English hallway. The administration believes adding a new hallway that will connect the glass hallway and the English hallway through the back of the courtyard would allow students to travel easier and make quicker locker stops.
   “I think it would be cool to have a hallway there. I could go to my locker more if it’s easily accessible,” sophomore Quinn Cavin said.
2.   Another proposed change that would occur next year is switching the office and the library. The office will be moved, and the original space will become the library and new virtual learning center. The virtual learning center will benefit students without laptops, as well as provide more opportunities for instruction in classes that use computers on a regular basis.
3.   The nurse’s station is also planned for relocation, and will be moving to another part of the school. This will open up more space in the area directly in front of the current office.
4.   Another possibility would be to extend the cafeteria partially into the courtyard, about to where the large columns are now. Enlarging the pizzeria is under consideration, since this could alleviate traffic flow in the lunch line. Along with this, the construction of a stairway from the history/English hallway into the cafeteria is also being taken into consideration. The school is also working to improve the quality of food by installing ovens instead of fryers in the kitchen.
5.   Piping could be improved by repairing or replacing the 1959 water main which supplies all the school’s water needs.
6.   Administrators believe a ceiling could be installed in the South Gym, improving air quality and eliminating dust filtering down from the lights and ductwork. Other improvements in the South Gym include replacing the current stands with all-new bleachers, improving the safety standards of the movable bleachers and hand rails. There is also the possibility of building a concession stand either on the upper or lower floor.
7.   The main issues being addressed in the Auditorium are the lights, carpet, sound system, movable walls and ropes on the stage. The installation of either new lights, new carpet, better surround sound, repairing one movable wall or replacing the ropes are all possibilities for improvements.
   “The sound system always messes up and stops working,” junior band student Nealon Jeffers said. “If there were changes made to the auditorium, I’d want that fixed first.”
8.   Changing the classrooms in the APC hallway is a definite possibility; plans for furnishing the large classrooms for possible advanced classes, such as pre-engineering and pre-med, are also being considered. A locker room could be added to this area as well.
9.   The arts classrooms are also scheduled for updates.
   “Of all the improvements I’d like to happen in my art room, I’d say the two updates I want the most are a better working area for my students and a better storage facility for their artwork,” art teacher Mr. Farrand said.
10.   The outside appearance of MHS is another project that could undergo construction. A new roof would be put over the 1967 edition of the high school, which should prevent further leaks in the math hallway and current office area.

   With all the construction that could be going on, it seems that class schedules will be disrupted and teachers worry that this will effect class time and instruction. If this bond is obtained, new fixtures could be in place as early as this spring, but it’s hoped that this will hardly affect classes.
   There’s hope that because construction will be taking place mostly during the summertime and at night, classes will be disrupted as little as possible. If classrooms undergo construction, it’s likely that some classes will be taking place in the auditorium instead of an actual room.
   “I’d be willing to move during construction so we can benefit from the outcome,” English teacher Mrs. Lisa Gobel said.
   For more information on the renovation, go to