By: Emma Kolick.
Succeeding the blissful and lively spring break of North Royalton High School students and staff, many returned to a vastly different scene, brimming with construction workers and new parking spaces. Within the two-story addition, there will be math classrooms, science labs and an additional gymnasium, which will be completed and ready for use by the 2020-2021 school year. While these alluring additions will come with unfavorable, temporary inconveniences, and not every current student will be able to experience the new high school, the vast majority of the students are fervently anticipating the high-tech features to come.
“Personally, I’m extremely excited about the fresh, new interior and exterior that’s coming with the new construction,” freshman Corey Schwarz said with a smile. “From what we’ve seen so far, the exterior of the school after the renovation seems to match those of other schools, and even surpasses them in how nice they look.” As several parts of North Royalton High School are nearly sixty years old, it has become apparent over time that extreme structural changes are long overdue. Consequently, these changes will have an undesirable effect on the current traffic patterns.
As the construction will begin taking place in the already existing student parking lot, many of the student’s parking spaces will be moved to various locations such as the practice soccer fields, former city hall and Memorial Park, resulting in an overall decrease in student parking as well. Although these parking spaces will be in distant and far away locations, shuttle buses will run to and from the school, though students involved in after-school activities will be forced to walk to their vehicles.
In addition to the new parking spaces, the North Royalton City School District is also hoping students will consider taking school buses as much as possible in order to eliminate chaos in the parking lots. Though the buses will now assemble in the back parking lot, the number of buses will not decrease. While the new parking arrangements will result in mild inconveniences for students and staff alike, the vast majority of students believe the advancements and developments that will transpire within the next three years will compensate for the short-lived setbacks that upperclassmen will encounter, as these improvements will not only benefit the class of 2021 and beyond, but future generations as well.
“It will be exciting to see the improvements and experience it before I graduate. I still feel bad for the upperclassmen though because they won’t be able to experience it at all, and they still have to deal with the annoyances,” freshman Alyssa Grugle said. “Though the class of 2022 will really be the first class to experience it in its entirety, I think senior year for my class will definitely be an exciting experience.”
She went on to explain how she believes nearly everyone in the community is excited for the new high school, especially her younger sister who attends the middle school, who excitedly discusses the construction of the school nearly every time they pass by it.
Brandt Dougherty, a sophomore at NRHS, shares this perspective, and while he will not be able to enjoy the completion of the new high school, he says he is immensely excited for its finalization. “My younger brother will be able to experience it, which is great, but either way I think I would be happy,” Brandt said. “I know some upperclassmen are angry because they don’t get to be in the new high school, and they have a right to be angry, but I think seeing it from a [different] perspective is helpful. People should be happy for the future generations that will be able to have an enhanced learning experience.”
Along with the incorporation of multiple STEM classrooms and an additional gymnasium, collaborative workspaces, an expansion of the music department and an improved media center will all be completed by an estimated date of December 2021. While renovations and demolitions will follow the first phase of construction, the North Royalton City School District and Hammond Construction feel blessed to be able to be renovating the high school in any way.
“It’s hard to imagine that exactly two years ago the Board of Education was making decisions on what programs and services may need to be eliminated in order to pay for needed renovations at our buildings,” Superintendent Greg Gurka said at the State of the Schools meetings, “and here we are now on the cusp of providing state of the art facilities for current and future generations of students.”
Though experiencing temporary setbacks and inconveniences as a community can be challenging, the majority of students believe the end result of the construction will result in an advantageous school environment in which students and staff alike will be able to flourish.
Emma Kolick is currently a freshman at North Royalton High School. She is involved in numerous clubs such as student council, Key Club, Spanish Club, Fish Club, and STAND. She is also a member of the girls track team. Outside of school she enjoys yoga, spending time with her friends, reading and writing. After high school, she plans to attend college and possibly pursue a career in education and journalism.