The New Face of LHS


New bollards protect the main entrance, as well as the band doors, from cars entering.

Sara Thunga and Lola Akinlade

When students walked into the school on the first day, some changes  made to the building quickly became apparent.

The parking lot was redone with cleaner lines to help students and faculty and make traffic run more smoothly at the start and end of the day.

New bollards protect the main entrance,band doors and other entrances.

Renovated bleachers fill the main gym.

Inside the main entrance, there are tables with outlets and chairs to serve as a charging station for the newly distributed Chromebooks.

As students took their seats in their first period class, they noticed an unfamiliar long-tone sound from the speakers. This is the new bell that would dismiss and commence each period of the day.

These changes have definitely been noticed; however, some may not know why they came into place.

The charging station would be helpful for students who did not charge their Chromebooks overnight and have a free period before a class that it will be used in.

¨I have not used it yet but I know that it is useful because there are a lot of people that forget to charge their computers at their house so then they can come to school and charge it during their lunch period so it’s easier for them,” senior Andie Kraft answered.

Not only can the charging station be used for charging students’ technological devices, but it can also be used as another resource area to get homework done besides the MASH, library, CRC, Write Place, and LST. It is often utilized by seniors who get back from lunch release early and have time to spare.

¨I love it a lot,¨ senior Katherine Liu shared when asked about the station. ¨It makes me feel really happy because after school at 4:30 the MASH closes and that’s the latest resource center open and then I’m like ‘I don’t want to go home yet, where do I go?’ Well, now I can go to the charging station!”

LHS also replaced the old bleachers with new bleachers located in the main gym this summer. The new bleachers are orange, black, and white — ¨LHS¨ is seen painted across when the bleachers are closed — and the seating is improved and sturdier than the old bleachers.

¨The new bleachers are made from a different material, have handrails on the stairs and are also [wheelchair]-accessible.  The spots for wheelchairs are in the front of the bleachers,” Athletic Director Mr. Briant Kelly explained.

The new bleachers were necessary due to the wear-and-tear on the previous bleachers. They also make the school look more appealing aesthetically.

¨The new bleachers definitely makes the gym look newer and also adds some color to the gym. The best improvement is that there is improved seating and accessibility for spectators,¨ Mr. Kelly shared.

Students have taken notice of the new bleachers and have nothing but good things to attribute to them.

“Our old bleachers were getting to be in bad shape, so I’m glad we got the new ones,” sophomore Madeline Bartusch stated.

Students may have also noticed the sound of the bells for class periods has changed this school year.

“The bell sound is due to a new intercom system, which replaced a very outdated intercom system….There were times last year where it just didn’t work and when we have to relay information that might just be daily information, daily announcements, or it might be other information that might be more pertinent, like severe weather, but we want to get that information out there. It’s to make life better around here,” Director of Safety and Security, Mike Dolan, stated.

The bollards are a safety precaution to prevent any car accidents from damaging the school.

¨[The bollards are] a safety feature among the many we’ve put in-place this past year. They’re all over the place from grocery stores to Walmart (some nicer than others). Bollards stop cars from entering buildings accidentally through glass entrances. It’s a safety feature we installed for everyone’s protection, if it’s ever needed (hopefully not),¨ Building and Grounds Director Chris Stancil explained.

In addition to the previously stated changes, the renovated parking lot will help prevent further accidents from occurring when students, faculty, parents, and buses all enter and exit the school. Mr. Stancil shared that the parking lot was filled with new asphalt and the lights were upgraded.

Along with the physical changes made to the school, an increased security system is also present.

¨We have a whole bunch [of new security changes], the most obvious ones were the front and Studio Theatre entry, [which are] now technically [in] what we call a ‘soft lockdown’ all day long, where you have to be buzzed into the building and state your business, and when once that’s done, then we bring you into the building itself,” Mr. Dolan stated. ¨So, that was probably the biggest change this year. We have to buzz you in and that includes the seniors, who are going to lunch and coming back in. We’ve had a lot more cameras in the building.¨

People in the building have noticed increased security, and instead of looking at it as a hassle, it can be seen as another precaution taken to make the school safer for all its inhabitants.

¨It’s more security for us students.They’re protecting us more so they control who gets into the school and who gets out, which is a good thing,¨ senior Reena Christy explained.

The clearing of asbestos over the summer months is another improvement recently made to LHS. Asbestos is naturally occurring minerals found in the cement of walls that can cause health issues or even be fatal when inhaled over long periods of time.

¨The asbestos [removal] was completed by a union abatement company using different methods of removal. This happens when you have either tile on top or tile under carpeting, so everything was done to [Environmental Protection Agency] and the Department of Health standards (we’re all safe),¨ Mr. Stancil stated.

Since the school has changed quite a bit since it was first built, renovations need to be made every few years to keep it up-to-date.

¨Age, safety, usefulness and requests are a part of these changes. Most everything is inspired by bringing this school and all of its systems into the 21st century,¨ Mr. Stancil noted.