THERE are times when simple words prove to be the justification for major undertakings.
Consider these testimonies offered by students and faculty at Columbus East and North high schools about the end results of an $89 million renovation of their buildings:
“It’s not a dreary school anymore. It’s one we can really be proud of.” — Zak Ruehman, Columbus North senior.
“It’s more open and you’re not so secluded.” — Kapri Geraghjty, Columbus East senior describing the school’s resource area.
“I wish I could go back and experience high school all over again in this new school.” — Megan Peterson, North senior.
“It’s made it a lot more convenient.” — Liz Lindsey, teaching assistant in East’s science lab.
The public got the opportunity for close-up views of the two renovated buildings recently in separate open houses, but it is the students and staff who call them second homes that are most directly affected by the makeovers.
There is definitely an aesthetic improvement in both schools, but usability and adaptability were two qualities that were placed high on the priority lists of school planners.
Judging by the reaction of the users, both goals have been attained.
While the costs of the improvements were significant, it is important to recognize that these buildings are 56 (North) and 40 (East) years old. Not counting additions, this is the first major overhaul of the North building.
East has had to undergo major renovations in the past because of unforeseen mishaps and the need to take corrective steps in altering the original design, but this is the most comprehensive improvement.
The changes were needed, not just because the buildings had aged and parts were wearing out, but because education has changed and structures have to be adaptable to those changes.
It can be safely said that these schools are well suited for the 21st century student bodies.
Members of the first student bodies to utilize their new features appear to be in agreement.