Now that school has been in session for two months in the new building, the excitement has worn off, and students and staff are feeling homesick. Everyone loves the new facilities, but there are some aspects that will never be the same.
Freshman geography teacher Troy Hoehne found the most joy in a very simple aspect of the building.
“I like that it was all on one floor,” said Hoehne. “When you have a bad knee, stairs are not your best friend.”
The reduction in size has also caused teachers to feel farther apart, because with the building split into three floors it takes more effort to stop in and say hello.
“Some teachers I never see,” said Ms. Sarah Fitzpatrick, the ASB advisor, “because they might not come to lunch, or we have different meetings. Not connecting with those teachers on a daily basis, it’s a transition. It’s the same thing with the students.”
In the 6 years spent at Olympic Elementary, teachers also grew rather attached to their classrooms. They gain more personality over time, so eventually they feel like a second home to their occupants.
“A big piece of who you are and the things you love are in that room,” Fitz said, “and when you spend day after day, year after year in that room, you really become attached to the memories that happen there.”
Teachers aren’t the only ones who have to deal with the change, as many of our students have spent some of the best years of their lives at the old school. Junior Jashan Kaur said that it’s weird to start over, because she began high school in that building and it was part of her high school experience.
“For me it’s not anything physical that I miss about the old school,” said Junior Riya Somasundaram, “but it’s more like the memories that we had there. Just dealing with the ghettoness of it.”
Despite any attachment we had to the old school, there’s no getting around the fact that it was a little more than run-down.
“I miss the asbestos coming out of the walls,” said senior Kentaro Tourangeau, “or that one computer room. That was so bad.”
According to sophomore Shailee Stevens, our previous Career Explorations teacher called it the “ghetto computer room.” The room was always too hot, just one more indication that the heating system was less than functional.
“I certainly don’t miss dealing with the temperature extremes,” said Hoehne. “Some rooms were cold enough to hang meat in, and other rooms were warm enough to cook it in. The only way I could control the heat in the old room was to open the back door.”
Aside from the heat, the leadership team in particular is having a hard time adjusting to the new layout. Fitz said she misses the spirit shack, the small built in vending area where spirit gear was sold.
“Our spirit shack in the cafeteria that Carla so graciously allowed us to use had a lot of charm, and certain characteristics that you can’t recreate,” Fitz said. “I like the intimacy of the new space but I just wish that we had more space in that area.”
The narrow stage in the new presentation center also creates some difficulties that contrast with the expansive gym in the old building. Although the limited gym space makes assemblies more difficult, on the other hand the new technology is a big relief.
Another great thing was the outdoor side of campus. The grassy area behind the school was often used by students on sunny days to throw around a frisbee and relax.
“I just felt like it was a good outlet for kids,” said Fitz. “That’s an important thing to have at a school, is a place where kids can get some energy out and run around and be crazy during lunch or after school.”