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Renovations to the Front Office to Begin in 2018, Office to Temporarily Move

Inigo Lintag, Staff Writer

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The front office is due for modifications and renovations to better comply with building regulations, among other specific architectural reasons, and this construction project will also bring major changes over the next few years.

According to Plant Operations Supervisor Mark Harrington, “We’re supposed to start construction on December 18, 2018 and construction will be estimated to go on until June of 2021.”

The modifications to be done in the front office will help to solve some issues in the building. According to Principal Jeff Olivero, “The biggest problem that they are going to remedy is the fact that our counseling offices don’t have walls that go all the way to the ceiling; you can faintly hear discussions going on between the counselors and the students. We want greater privacy around that area.”

Counselor David Malo said, “We don’t really have a true office and when you don’t have a true office, you hear things. I sometimes hear conversations with the Site Tech. If we had offices like they did in the media center, I wouldn’t be able to hear a thing.”

“[After the construction] the counseling center will have full offices with walls all the way to the ceiling, so that the counselors can have private conversations with their students,” explained Harrington. As counseling in and of itself is often confidential, this is considered important to both counselors and administration.

“We’re also moving some offices around to create some conference areas and some seating areas for guests to come into the office,” added Olivero.

The modifications will not only affect the work areas. “There are a lot of upgrades within the bathroom as required by the ADA (American with Disabilities Act),” explained Olivero.

Harrington stated, “The faculty men’s and women’s restrooms will get bigger and be brought up to ADA compliancy.”

“Since the restrooms have to be bigger, there will have to be some reconfiguring in the front office. The administrative assistant’s office will have to be moved, and there will be a lot of rearranging,” continued Harrington.

According to Olivero, the front office will have all new carpet, tiles, and furniture when it is eventually done.

“We’re going to create a sitting area that hedges its way into the counseling office. This wide open area will have seating for school visitors as well as a giant touch computer on the wall for visitors to navigate the internet while they wait to be seen,” explained Olivero.

Olivero added, “On the very last day of the 2018 school year, we will be vacating the front office and relocating to the media center for that year. For a majority of that year, the media center will be the front office.”

According to Olivero, all the counselors, all the vice principals, and the rest of the staff will be moved to the Media Center for two thirds of the year. Special educators and others who have been in those offices will get moved out to other areas around the campus in order to make room for the work that needs to be done in there.

“I feel pretty good about the construction, but we’re going be displaced for a while,” said Malo.

Harrington explained, “In May of 2018, we’re supposed to move everyone in the 100 building into the Media Center. The administration work will take place between the summer of 2018 to mid-January of 2019.”

These new changes could have mixed responses from the student body. Olivero said, “Initially, I think people will be frustrated by the work and hassle, and the relocation of it all, but in the end, once all the new furniture is in and all the upgrades are made, people will be happy with the new facility.”

“I think that the new renovations will allow the school to be a more productive place, but moving the office staff to the Media Center will throw off the whole flow of the school,” said Freshman Qusay Lateef.

Harrington stated, “It’s going to be interesting to see how we’re going to be getting around from classroom to classroom with all the trenching that is going to be done-especially around the 400 building to the 200 building, and even to the work that’s going to be done in the quad area.”

“My biggest hope is that they can stay with their timeline, which they often don’t do, and if they say that they’re going to be done at a certain time, they are,” added Olivero.

Harrington said, “All these changes are only for the 100 building. They don’t cover everything else. There’s work being done throughout the school.”

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Renovations to the Front Office to Begin in 2018, Office to Temporarily Move