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The West Press

The West Press

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It’s Time to Modernize Lakota’s High Schools

Lakota recently stated they will add to the current main campus buildings in their master facilities plan. Does this include modernizing the original building?
Its+Time+to+Modernize+Lakotas+High+Schools

Since the 2019-2020 school year, Lakota has meticulously chipped away at the creation of their star-studded Master Facilities Plan, which has been paraded around as the district’s most innovative and impactful changes since its creation. With plans to renovate the district costing over 500 million dollars, many wonder what will happen to the current high schools, which will soon enter their 28th year in service. If the plan is to add to the buildings that will house grades 9-12, does the district intend to redesign the current interiors?

From the moment you step into the building, you are greeted with the bland colors of the main street: dry blues, faded reds, and other various washed-out hues cover the walls, making the building feel old and run down. The lockers are light green, blue, and red, almost mimicking the colors of an arcade; the floor tiles run through the main classroom hallways as though they were built in the 80s. If the building opened in 1997, how did the district manage to make it look an extra decade older?

On top of the visual disparities, there are also structural concerns. The bridged walkways along the side and across Main Street are uneven, with certain railways wobbly and uneven. With tens of thousands of students having walked through those halls, would it be the worst idea to check that the building is stable and sound?

The building does have a few areas that shine as a modern miracle. Examples would be the hub, with a comfortable design and carpeting that doesn’t look like it once resided in your grandmother’s small beach house. Some classrooms have a comforting design that feels less cramped and more “open-air” (including more windows and larger rooms), but only thanks to the help of teachers and the hours they have spent trying to bring life to their otherwise dull brick-covered rooms.

Common areas of the building like the Cafeteria and Theatre need a major redo. For the theatre program West has built over the years, why are we confining them to a small stage, with limited lighting technology, and barely any space for the musical pit? Schools like West Clermont and Fairfield, which are both noticeably smaller than Lakota, manage to have theatres nearly 3x bigger than anything West could dream of.

Lakota also needs to work on the atmosphere of the building. Allowing for stained ceiling panels with mold doesn’t help to create an academically focused atmosphere. Plus, students could end up sick from how unsanitary the school is. The banners hanging from Main Street need to be revised in a more orderly fashion, and time needs to be spent reviewing the structure of the locker bays (considering they are visually unappealing in virtually every corner).

As of the publication of this article, little to no information has been released about what the board plans on adding to the two high schools in the district. The potential to create a heightened learning experience is there, but the staff and administration need to stop dragging their feet and approach the issue head-on, instead of putting the money into “fun” types of investments, like the war room. 

Lakota is projected to continue growing for years to come, and the master facilities plan is a direct reflection of the prosperous community that is growing in West Chester and Liberty Township. The new renovations and additions to the high schools will serve students well… as long as they are executed well. When will the district prioritize funding and renovations for all main campus students, and not just a few clubs that do well? When is “WE Are Lakota” going to stop being SOME of Lakota and include everyone?

 

**For more information on Lakota’s Master Facilities Plan, check out “Lakota’s Master Facilities Plan: 2024 Edition”, released earlier this March.**

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About the Writer
Thomas Price
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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