Imagine theatre students using hallways as dressing rooms on opening night, crowded around one mirror. Or art students being unable to release their full creativity due to lack of space. These are just some of the few issues the old fine arts wing presented to both students and teachers. However with the start of the new school year, a new design has allowed creativity to freely flow.
On Dec. 10,1999, the plans for construction of the fine arts area began to be put in action. The district asked the teachers to draw up their ideal area for their respective subject and started from there.
“They asked us to come up with proposals, and what we would want,” art teacher Clint Johnson said.
Although action began in 1999, there has been talk about reconstruction for decades. Some teachers, like Brian Reeves, have been going to meetings regarding the remodeling for the fine arts wing since they joined the North High staff.
One of the final pushes to put the plan into motion was that North was identified as a school with a significant need to update structure-wise.
“Another practical concern is that this is part of a larger project to renovate the entire school,” Reeves said.
The whole process will consist of 5-6 phases. The first phase was completed over the summer of 2017, which included the renovation of the fine arts wing. The next phase includes the renovation of the commons, which will be three times as big.
“The next push is going to be for the food court here, which is going to be three times as big. Anything beyond the construction of this upcoming summer will have to go to the next bond. It will have to go up for vote to the taxpayers for the next one,” said building manager John Metheny.
The new placement of the wing has been beneficial not only to the music department, but also the English department that was once located above the fine arts wing.
“In terms of a fine arts area, the music rooms were unusual [because they were] built with classrooms above the music rooms, so when we were making a lot of noise, there were English classes above us. That’s not very conducive,” Reeves said.
The difference between the old and new fine arts wing has been noticed by not only teachers, but students as well.
“Mr. Little’s room definitely changed a lot. There’s actual storage for the set pieces and props and costumes and everything,” said sophomore Isabella Berger. “The dressing rooms definitely got better, and they needed to get better because now there’s at least 10 spaces where you can do your makeup. In the old room, we all had to cram into one mirror.”
Most classrooms became bigger and extra classrooms for the arts were added for extra space.
“There’s actually a second classroom we can bleed into if we’re overflowed,” freshman Megan Hupperts said. “It’s really nice and spacious and clean.”
For North, this is only the beginning. Eventually, all of North will be as updated like the fine arts wing.
“I look forward to the day when the other parts of the building look like this one because our school is going to look so updated and so cool, but right now just growing our program is the biggest thing for us.” theatre teacher Chad Little said.
By Sara Hong, staff writer