By: Emma Kolick.
Approaching the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year last spring, tension and apprehensiveness quickly began to grow among students regarding the effects construction was going to have on student parking and class disruption. While students and staff remained thrilled to later experience a student hub, air conditioning, state-of-the-art math and science wings, extensive safety features and new parking lots, many were anxious over how the construction would impact their daily routine. However, following a productive and efficient summer of work from Hammond Construction, students came back and had their uneasiness relieved when they found the construction hardly altered their commonplace schedule.
“Hammond has been a really nice company to work with,” said Mr. Osborne, principal of North Royalton High School. “They’re very good at communicating with us when they will need access to certain areas of the building, and they’re especially cognizant of how important student parking and parent drop-offs are. Also, I think student disruption has been fairly minimal for the most part.”
To begin this year, students parked at Memorial Park, the fire station and the practice soccer fields. Shuttles were put in place to transport students from the high school to their predetermined parking spot, or vice versa, yet due to the unseasonably warm weather, the majority of students have begun walking to their cars instead of utilizing the shuttles. Mr. Osborne predicts, however, that once crisp weather begins to fill the air, the shuttles will be brimming with students. Essentially, students have easily been able to park in their prearranged spot, and there has been limited traffic backup.
“I park in Lot A this year, and construction honestly hasn’t affected my schedule in the slightest,” said senior Achille Paolino. “I know Lot A is the least affected, but none of my friends who park in other areas have had any significant problems.” Achille went on to say that even if construction caused major parking inconveniences, the benefits of the future high school would significantly outweigh the parking disruptions.
While a small minority of students disapprove of the new parking system, the vast majority had their tensions relieved in mid-August when they realized the parking would not notably impact their schedule, and many are looking forward to the advantages that come with attending a newly improved school. Despite the enthusiastic impatience many are feeling to finish the construction project, many students are reaping the benefits of what Hammond Construction has done over the summer.
“Practicing for band is so much better in the new parking lot,” said sophomore Victoria Reese. “The old parking lot was filled with potholes, and because I’m a Royalette, I was constantly tripping over them and practice was a nightmare half the time.” Her class disruption has been minimal, and she says every time she looks outside, she can tell advancements are being made on the construction project.
Though significant progress is currently being made, Hammond Construction worked efficiently over the summer, and employees were constantly working to ensure that it is made visible to students that the high school is close to being completely transformed. Hammond took the hallway between Cafeteria 1 and the media center offline, while also laying concrete footers and part of the foundation for the exterior wall of the future math and science wing.
Additionally, workers have created steel walls that will act as the foundation of the new building. As well, the fire suppression system and alarm system in the gymnasium and performing arts center were instated, and workers had air handling units installed in both of these locations. As the changes in the building become more noticeable, students are beginning to realize that our school will soon be completely renovated.
“I haven’t thought much about the building because I walk in and nothing jumps out to me right away,” said junior Kayla McDonell, “but when I look at the structural details that are emerging, it feels more like a reality to me that in two years our school will be brand new and look completely different.”
Despite the tension students had upon returning to school, many are relieved that the construction has caused minor inconveniences. Additionally, the vast majority of students are beginning to recognize the improvements that are taking shape inside of the school, while also perceiving how in two short years, our school will be altered indefinitely. “Places such as the student hub and dining area are going to give the building a different feel, one that is more relaxed and collegiate,” said Mr. Osborne confidently.
Emma Kolick is currently a sophomore at North Royalton High School. She is involved in numerous clubs such as student council, Key Club, Spanish Club, Environmental Awareness Club, French Club, and STAND. She is also a member of the girls track team. Outside of school she enjoys yoga, reading, writing, and hanging out with friends and family. After high school, she plans to attend college and pursue a career in journalism and political science.