School Renovations: Transformations, New Additions

Chanelle Camero, Community Editor

     Recently, MHS has been undergoing a series of renovations throughout campus. Many of them started off just as ideas years ago and are now being constructed and implemented. These renovations consist of: a new fence, handicap ramp, stadium lights, air conditioning, softball improvements and a girls locker room installation. 

     “The legislature has to approve that funding. Once that gets approved, there’s really no hang up except for the time that we have to wait for all the proper permits and everything to be done, the designing and the architecture, whatever else,” said Vice Principal Kevin Matsuba. Principal Fred Murphy added, “The other things like office improvements and those kinds of things, those are things that our staff and people who work in this office or other places, we kind of prioritize money — those projects can happen a lot quicker.” 

     One of the first things Murphy wanted to do when he became a principal was to build a handicap access ramp and a parallel staircase at the entrance  to the school. The project was approved almost four years ago but there have been multiple delays. “So it came with that, it came with new staircase, and then they wrote it so we could make “The project allowed for other parking lot improvements and that included fencing. So We didn’t want just a chainlink fence so we were able to use that particular money to make a nice new fence,” said Murphy. “So they gave us a new staircase as well as a handicap ramp on the left side. And I’m very excited about that. It’s taken probably about six years.” 

     Due to Title 9, a federal law about gender equality and athletic access, MHS was granted money to upgrade their softball fields by the legislature. Along with the softball fields, the money also went to new female locker rooms. “So we “(MHS) got money from the legislature to enhance the facilities for our softball facility so it’ll be on par or better than our baseball facilities side. So that (The) money was  awarded last legislative session in the 2018 legislative session. So we have We are excited to receive 1.6 million dollars that we’re using to redo the support areas, so the batting cages, the stands, they’ll be sort of a clubhouse, and provide handicaped accessibility to the area.”, places for them to have lockers and some things that match the boys basically,” said Murphy. 

     Since the library’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system went out in January, it is being renovated. It is looking to be finished by October but could possibly be as late as January of 2020. “But “That’s a repair and maintenance project… sort of an emergency. project that we’re waiting on and in the meantime, they’ve (The State) installed Diesel generators to try and cool things down and we’ve had some issues. We are currently looking for a different solution, with that and we’re trying to work on the noise that they generate and make sure they can actually be effective in the library so stay tuned on that,” said Murphy. 

     In addition to the library air conditioning project, Murphy aims to install air conditioning in at least five classrooms every semester. Currently, out of all the classrooms at MHS, a little over a third of them are air conditioned. “So ”We’re not close to being funded, so until we get to that point, we’re kind of on our own and so … what we’ve done (at MHS) is to establish a fund for the school to do five classrooms per semester. 10 a year but Departments and teachers can also leverage the funds that they’re given for other things, if they want to economize on their supplies and they want to fund extra classrooms being air conditioned.” they can do that too,” said Murphy. Matsuba added, “You know, students tend to work better. They’re more comfortable when their rooms are cooler. So you know, ultimately, you’d like to have every room cool.”

     Another project that is in the works is office renovations. They will be relocating the attendance office to be with the main office and will be installing a double door entrance in the center. These renovations are being funded by First Friday and carnival money. “We want people to be able to find the front office and attendance office more easily”So when people come up, they know where the office is and they don’t have to go back and forth between these two offices to find out where they’re supposed to be if you’re a visitor or where to report to,” said Murphy. Matsuba added, “And it was also created with the thought that you want to be more welcoming. So the entrance will be relocated to the front of the school rather than the side of the building. Any of the business that you would normally take care of there or parents would normally take care of, will all be in one area. So it’s not expanding anything it’s just kind of reusing the space differently.”

     Murphy hopes for the handicap access and parking lot renovations to be done in the next three to four weeks.  For the locker rooms, it is estimated to be done in three more years. As for the softball field improvements, it’s estimated to be done in two or three more years.