Lion’s Roar Staff
Blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the Lincoln High School’s renovation project for more than two years now. The ongoing project is nearing its completion and the final product is highly-anticipated by staff, students, and the Lincoln community. Everyone involved with the renovation has been working hard and adapting in order to create a smooth transition and an improved school.
The renovation is completed in the A-wing and C-wing, the auditorium, the kitchen, the cafeteria, the administration offices, the nurse and the library. But there is work to be done. Construction continues on the gymnasium, more administrative offices, more classrooms and computer labs.
The newly reconstructed kitchens are now in full use for the cafeteria staff and for culinary classes. The culinary classes were working in a temporary space at the beginning of the year and did not get to enjoy any hands-on experience. Now that the kitchen is completed, they can finally experience the class to its fullest extent; cooking and baking.
Although parts of the building are finished, a lot of teachers are yet to be fully settled. Some teachers either don’t have all of the promised materials, some are not fully unpacked. Many of our teachers settled into a permanent space, but a good number are in temporary s paces as their next and final classroom is yet to be renovated. They have at least one more move on their agendas.
Some teachers are unsure of where their final destination will be, as classrooms are sometimes moved between one academic year to the next due to a number of reasons, including changes in personnel.
There are two big differences between the A-wing and the C-wing. The A-wing is a renovated wing, formerly known as the “former middle school,” or C-wing. The new C-wing is completely new construction, and has been open since the start of the school year.
Freshman Sophia Canvanuagh talks about her experience with the renovation, “It was hard at first to navigate and find my classes but now that I'm so used to it it's easier. But once they changed I had to adjust again. It’s a lot of change but it doesn’t affect my learning experience.”
While the A-wing renovations did not produce extremely dramatic results -- most of the classrooms have not changed significantly-- some problems have arisen since its reopening in November. For instance, classroom whiteboards were not yet installed, lights and light sensors were malfunctioning, Wi-Fi issues were prominent, projectors -- critical to a hybrid classroom -- were not delivered in time.
Each A-wing problem is gradually resolved, and many have already been fully corrected. But there are exceptions.
Currently, the biggest problem of the reconstruction project is the gymnasium floor. The floor was described as “wavy and bumpy” by the Lincoln School Committee, which deemed it unsafe for athletes and gym classes. Administrators ordered that the gym floor be completely replaced. That work is underway.
This mistake is currently in the process of being fixed according to the specifications of the Building Committee. The committee chose a solution at a recent meeting: “To remove all of the floorboards, to repair various sections, and then lay the floor back down, except for sections under the closed bleachers, which would not be replaced.”
As of the end of January 2021, said, Principal, Mr. Mezzanotte, “The floor is currently in the process of being renovated. It is scheduled to be completed around late February (assuming everything goes as planned).”
A visit to the still-vacant gymnasium on the southeast corner of the building reveals a partially assembled floor of unfinished light beige wood flooring, much lighter than the original caramel floor. The gym walls that once were covered with wood paneling midway up, are now white. The gym bleachers are yet to be installed.
Due to the lack of a gym at LHS, the winter sports that would normally use this gym have been affected by the change. Basketball for both boys and girls is taking place at Lincoln Middle School until the LHS gym opens. In the meantime, LMS is also hosting games in their gym as well, so LHS basketball practices take place at later times, and for thirty minutes shorter than they normally would.
LHS Senior, Elizabeth Hien, talks about what it's like being on the basketball team, “Playing at the middle school was definitely strange at first. This year has been so different anyway that I’m so grateful we are able to play it doesn’t matter where it is. I’m sure the new gym is going to be amazing, I’ll have to come back next year to see it.”
All of the new accommodations needed due to the limitations of the pandemic, as well as the construction project, are a lot to handle. Making allowances for all that is going on, students, staff and administrators appear to be working together to make the school as normal and functional as possible, which is a very hard and complicated thing to do.