by Abby Eads
By taking a walk around the Erie High School building, you can begin to see several different upgrades, renovations, and additions. The Cardinal Chronicle met with some of the forces behind these changes.
Bright red, oversized lockers are one of the first things you'll notice throughout the hallways. The new lockers were a choice made mostly because of all the athletic bags that would be dumped in either the office or the locker rooms. The new lockers provide much more space for student athletes to store their gear during the day until practice time comes about. The large lockers also provide more space for books essential to class and book bags full of heavy supplies. The hope is that students will feel more inclined to use their lockers rather than carry everything they need for school around on shoulders all day, which is terrible for their backs. When asked to share his feelings on the matter, junior Travis Coleman stated that he was “content” with the lockers. The lockers were purchased at half-price for $50,000, thanks to a package deal offered on account of the middle school getting new lockers as well.
Some students say that the new lockers weren't a necessary adjustment, but Mr. McConnell counters that the new lockers allow more room for students to place everything they had never been able to find room/space for before. “Bags used to be piled up in the office, the locker rooms… now they can be put in the lockers since there's so much space.”
Speaking of quick and easy, the new announcement board allows for students to receive all the daily announcements related to clubs, sports, meetings, and lunch. When it's working it allows the passing students to be instantly informed in a very streamlined system. Also, several epoxy floors were installed in the locker rooms, entryways, and a few classrooms over the summer.
Not only are there changes on the inside of the school for students to enjoy, but there are some changes on the outside as well. There is now a patio to replace the bushes that were in front of the school last year. Benches and picnic tables, bright red, just like the new lockers, now sit out on the cement landscape, available for student to sit outside, get fresh air, and enjoy, maybe even wait for the bus. There are going to be umbrellas added to them next year to make things even more amazing.
The entire building is getting brand new windows in addition to the brand new lockers. All windows will be replaced within the next three weeks. Mr. Buri says that he “likes the new windows so far. They're clear and you can see through them.” The old windows have been around for twenty-four years, have been allowing in the wind, and Mr. McConnell says they “let too much sunlight come through so they fade stuff and it gets too hot so the HVAC units and heaters are working overtime.” The heaters are twenty-three years old and need to be replaced, so all new heating and air conditioning units are coming in the summer of 2018 - meaning no more horror movie rattling in the Garcia-Storm science room! All the rooms will be the same temperature rather than students walking from class to class thinking about how hot it was in the last one and how freezing it will be in the next. Along with all of these renovations coming together to bring us a better, more efficient school, there will also be new LED lights in all the rooms in the school. The old lights give off too much heat, but switching to LED lights means they won't get hot, they'll last longer, and hopefully there won't be as much flickering in and out as some parts of certain classrooms are prone to. The new lights will be put in in the summer, and the gymnasium lights will be replaced in the fall. The goal is, as Mr. McConnell puts it, “It’ll be much more regulated so our footprint on the environment will be much smaller with high efficient lights, windows, [and] air conditioning.”