Major Renovations Coming to the Media Center


Michael Paredes

Principal Michael Paredes, Junior Nicholas Oshmago, Sophomore Katrial Hernandez, Sophomore Kimberly Ng, Junior Andrea Lanatta-Valera, Junior Allison Turley, Assistant Principal Alex Villalobos, Sophomore Giselle Campos and Junior Lizette Campos(left to right) visit Patrick Henry High School to get ideas for UC High’s Media Center.

Shaynen Gold, Staff Writer

   Hoping to turn UC High’s Media Center into a hub for student activity, the Student Principal Advisory Council (SPAC) and school administration have begun planning a renovation of the area, with work scheduled to take place over the next two school years.

   Principal Michael Paredes weighed in on why the renovations are being made. “The reason for the renovations is to make the Media Center a truly student-centered space,” said Paredes, “We’re taking steps to identify what this might look like through our work with students who participate in the SPAC.”

   Paredes mentioned that in February, he and several members of the SPAC visited different high schools in the San Diego Unified School District that have undergone renovations of their own to find inspiration for UC High’s plans.

   SPAC Member Sophomore Kimberly Ng was one of the students that took part in this trip. “We visited Kearny, Crawford, and Patrick Henry High School,” said Ng, “…and looked at many of the student spaces within these schools… libraries, counseling centers, main offices, and other spaces such as presentation rooms and study rooms.”

   Ng described the areas that the SPAC team visited as having an assortment of seating arrangements and a variety of new furniture, along with their school colors being incorporated into different elements of the spaces such as walls and seats. Additionally, many of these spaces had set aside room for an assortment of student-made artwork.

   “We want to make the Media Center a place where students feel comfortable. Having different options definitely makes it more inviting,” said Ng.

   SPAC Member Junior Nicholas Oshmago also participated in touring these newly-renovated school spaces. According to Oshmago, the trip helped the SPAC focus in on the specifics of what they wanted to change with UC High’s Media Center. He said, “Something that we are hoping to accomplish with the media center renovations is a better sense of comfort. [We want] a better environment for the media center, so that it encourages more student usage and frequency of usage.”

   Both Ng and Oshmago noted that the schools the SPAC visited made use primarily of aesthetic changes and new furniture in their renovations, as opposed to making changes to the physical structure of the Media Centers themselves.

   Ng mentioned that in addition to these decorative changes, SPAC also wishes to modify some of the existing spaces in the Media Center, such as the library and faculty offices.

   “We were thinking about moving them [the faculty with offices in the Media Center] to a different area so that the spaces could be used as individual or group study rooms for students,” said Ng. “We also want to introduce more books; we’re getting newer books and are thinking of adding bookshelves towards the main area of the Media Center, instead of them all being tucked away in a nook.”

   Ng detailed SPAC’s wish to make the Media Center a space for students to view as engaging through ideas such as the addition of an e-gaming center, a small stage for performances and presentations, and a section of the Media Center for school history and items donated by UC  High alumni.

   “We want to make the Media Center a place where students can have fun instead of it simply being known as a place where students can get textbooks and do homework,” expressed Ng.

   Ng and Oshmago said that the SPAC will continue to meet regularly to further discuss their ideas for the renovation.