Rampant Renovations

Central undergoes multiple renovations in time for the new school year

New+doors+add+security+to+the+building+in+it%E2%80%99s+east+entrance.+This%2C+along+with+other+renovations%2C+were+funded+by+a+bond+issue+proposed+in+2018.+

Diego Perez Palomino

New doors add security to the building in it’s east entrance. This, along with other renovations, were funded by a bond issue proposed in 2018.

There’s no doubt that school construction has affected students in one way or another. The new outdoor bathrooms and concession stands are convenient for athletes and spectators, and the new entrance added security to the building. Nevertheless, these additions come at the expense of time, money, and the building’s efficiency. In particular, the construction of the “Home of the Colts” arch caused long, frustrating lines when arriving and leaving school last year. Junior Ajay Eisenberg, like other students, struggled to get to school  

“The lines last year were really long, like in the morning it would take forever to get to school. The line on Woods Mill Rd. would be so long it would block the entrance into the neighborhoods,” Eisenberg said. “The bathrooms are really convenient for cross country runners though, because before we would have to go all the way inside the school.”

The construction for the gate and restrooms wasn’t the only thing that distressed students; renovation on the tennis court came at an inopportune time. Girls tennis players like sophomore Grace Sieber have had an unconventional season so far as a result.

“Because they’re doing the construction on the tennis courts, all of our home games are away games now, which is really annoying because of the traveling and commuting,” Sieber said. “And also, all of our practices are at Forest Lake [Tennis Club], and it’s just really inconvenient to have my parents pick me up, drop me off, and then pick me up again.”

Luckily, the other in-school renovations were completed during the summer, allowing students to start the year with newly renovated bathrooms, a new gender-neutral bathroom, and a new main entrance. 

“I really liked all the new changes inside the school,” said Sieber. “The bathrooms are super nice; they were definitely in need of a makeover,” Sieber said.

All of these changes were funded by bond issues, and suggested by several hundred Parkway residents who participated in a series of community meetings.

According to Parkway Schools documentation, “A bond issue is a traditional way for schools to borrow money to pay for major school capital replacement projects such as replacing old roofs, or HVAC units, or making upgrades to aging buildings to keep them in good working condition for students.”

Put simply, a bond issue allows Parkway to borrow large sums of money every five to six years. As they pay off older bonds every year, and the property value increases, Parkway is able to borrow more money the following year. The projects we are seeing completed this year are from a district wide bond issue proposal from 2018, building principal Dr. Tim McCarthy estimated a cost of around $200 million.

“We had various projects going on this summer, some of which are very behind the scenes. So, because of the building’s age, a very large part of our funds had to be put toward improving roofs, plumbing, air conditioning, and more.” said McCarthy. “This building was originally constructed in 1961, so just like a home that was built in ‘61, there are maintenance costs, there are improvement costs,’’

Looking toward the future, Parkway has just proposed a new bond issue that will take us through the summer of 2028. Similarly to the previous one, Parkway’s proposition will cost an estimated $265 million for renovations and improvements across all schools in the district.

“Changes to Central High include, but are not limited to: reconditioning old pool, renovating locker room, replacing Gym A bleachers, renovating cafeteria serving area and more,” as stated by Parkway Bond-Issue pamphlet.

Our pool’s conditions have been a common protest among athletes in the last couple of years. Poor ventilation, and unsanitary floor tiles are just some of the problems that sophomore Alan Conway, along with the rest of the swim team, have had to deal with.

“Our pool could use a lot of work, there’s mold on the floor and in the locker room, the chlorine lingers in the air, so you’re coughing throughout the day,” said Conway. “Even if our class doesn’t get to experience it, it’s something that they need to fix for the future generations.”