While most students enjoyed swimming, sleeping in, and staying up into the un-godly hours of the night during their summer vacation, Elder High School stayed busy while getting a massive makeover.
Included in this major makeover is brand spanking new lights, a finalized air conditioning system, a brand new advanced boiler room, new security protocol, new windows, and multiple new flat screen monitors spread across the classrooms and also in the lunchroom, which houses a new snack bar.
Students coming into the school for the first time in months were blinded by the brand new lights that were comparable to the sight of 1000 suns at first glance.
“I can’t believe how much cleaner the lights make the school look,” senior Michael Townsley said. “It’s amazing to see how much different the school is compared to how it looked these last three years.”
These lights are actually LED, and along with looking so much better, they are much more efficient. So efficient in fact that Mr. Otten told us that these lights will actually pay for themselves in the next three to four years. Elder High School, the place that spends money to save money.
Arguably the most notable feature to hit Elder is the air conditioning system. While most schools on the west side are constantly complaining about the overwhelming heat and how sweaty the inhabitants become, Elder students have the pleasure of being comfortable all year round thanks to the A/C.
The A/C is also more complex than you might think, with a new split unit feature. This allows rooms to actually borrow air from other rooms to reach the maximum comfort for the students. For example, a room that may need some extra air (Mr. Flaherty’s room during the afternoon) can borrow some from other rooms.
While students are obviously happy with their new surroundings, Mr. Otten couldn’t be more pleased with how happy the students are.
“Our goal was to find a way to better serve,” he said. The idea to renovate Elder began in 2012, when teachers and faculty began to find a way to make Elder better.
The faculty broke into groups of around eight and went around to the best schools in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The groups compiled a plethora of ideas and information. These were part of a master plan to improve Elder, and all the new features came from looking at other schools.
“We wanted to improve the overall quality of life for not only the students, but also the teachers who spend all day teaching them,” Mr. Otten said.
Students’ safety was also a task that the school wanted to address, and the new features Elder has should make students feel secure at all times. The security features go beyond the doors locking, they are actually in sync with a timer that revolves around the schedule of the Elder students.
“The exterior doors were challenging,” Mr. Ruffing said. “With four buildings of kids constantly entering and leaving, it was tough, but we are pleased with the result.”
Alongside the doors, there are over 60 cameras that will be constantly watching the school and the PAC. These cameras are on a single network that sends a live feed to be controlled and viewed by Mr. Ruffing. With all the overwhelming security features Elder presents this school year, it’s impossible not to feel safe.
Another major change for the school revolves around the Admissions office with Ms. Gettler and the development office with Mr. Bill. The admission office takes its stand in the main hallways next to Mr. Ruffing’s office, and the development office moves to the old study hall room.
“I like the direction the school took, although there are less visitors, the admissions office is more with the flow of the school,” Mr. Bill said. Mr. Bill also invites any student to come by to say hi, and informs all students to refrain from calling the lower floor the “basement”.
Since Elder opened in 1922, it has changed with the coming generations. In 2015, it’s currently hard to find any flaws since the renovations are finally complete, and with all the new updates around Elder, it’s hard to pick a favorite.