By Arianna Tabankin
The start of a new school year brings many changes, and BHHS has certainly changed. Many renovations have been made to refurbish the school and make it an up to date and lively place to learn. The theater, certain floors and ceilings, the English office, and the Guidance office have all been upgraded to make for an even better learning environment and place to work.
The biggest renovation at Byram this year is most definitely the theater, completed by KSQ designs. In the building’s 52 years of use, the theater has never had a complete renovation. Prior to this school year, there was a lot of “dead” space – specifically, the risers on the sides of the room. There is also new technology that can now be utilized that couldn’t be used before. Likewise, the seating area was not ADA compliant. Though we have been waiting for almost three years for the theater to be renovated, the time spent waiting will result in an even better product. The meetings typically held in the auditorium have been moved to the upper gym for now. The Varley Players Twelfth Night production will be held at Coman Hill, but the winter musical will be held at BHHS, on our very new stage! The renovations began right after Wampus’ moving up ceremony in June and are still underway. It is expected that the project will be completed in early November. Mr. Walsh mentioned, “[It’s] Incredible the amount of work they did in that time.”
Outside the theater, the ceilings and floor tiles were also updated. These changes began as soon as the students left for summer, and it took about a month to complete the first step. As stated by Mr. Walsh, “That first stage is done. What we want to do now is next year, and years after, we want to take the same color scheme and bring that down to different hallways.” He, with the help of the contractor, chose the tiles and color arrangements.
It is also worth noting that desks and chairs that allow for greater collaboration have been brought into six different classrooms. As one student said, “These desks help me a lot when working with other people. They make it faster and more fun. It is much easier to communicate and with the help of my group, I can learn a lot more than working by myself.” These desks make working with others a much easier task. Another student said, “It’s easier to be close and collaborate easily.” Although many students seem to enjoy them, these desks may not be for everyone. “I would not recommend other classes to switch to these desks because I think people would like the layout of the old desks better…I would prefer normal desks because they are bigger and I like the shape better,” commented freshman Alana Curley. All in all, these recent desk changes have seemed to make a big impact. Many people have liked them so far and they are helping to increase collaboration in the classroom quite a bit.
The funding for all of these projects has come from the budgets that get approved by the community. Mr. Walsh wishes to upgrade to a turf field, get an electric sign on campus, and upgrade the current sign in the future!