From blueprint to reality

Athletic facilities to be renovated this spring


Grace Farley

The girls’ and boys’ locker rooms will be renovated to create separate gym and athletic locker rooms, according to athletic director Andy Ewald. The renovations under the referendum will begin in the spring.

Abby Intveld and Dani Orloff

As freshman Victoria Schmelzle contemplates the upcoming renovations at the high school, she said there are other areas within the district she feels need improvement.

“I would rather them renovate other stuff, but I think it would be good if they renovate the gym lockers because those are really small and old,” Schmelzle said.

According to Principal Scott Meyers, under the $100.9 million bond referendum passed
in 2017, renovations will be made to the high school locker rooms and weight room. Ath- letic director Andy Ewald said construction will begin in the spring.

According to Meyers, the current locker room structure, with athletic and gym locker rooms combined, will be changed under the renovations.

“They will be two separate locker rooms now,” Meyers said. “So, the girls’ and boys’ athletic ones will be locked all day long. Then similar to what we have right now, the gym lockers will be open, but then locked during classes and then open in between hours.”

While he has yet to see the final plans, Ewald said the new fitness area will be an addition built onto the high school as opposed to renovating the current space. Through the changes, the present weight room space will be used for athletic department offices, according to Ewald.

“It is going to be built on the outside of the activity center, not the parking lot side, but the circle side and there will be a fitness area and a weight room in there,” Ewald said.

Schmelzle said she feels weight room renovators should be mindful of the growing district and student involvement in athletics.

“I think that a lot of the equipment is pretty old, and it’s a small space for teams to be able to utilize it pretty well. So I think it’s good that they’re renovating it,” Schmelzle said.

Despite being used more frequently during the day, the gym locker rooms will be placed farther away from the B1 hallway, where the current girls’ locker room is, according to Meyers.

“We would have loved to have had it the opposite way because (gym lockers) will be used more. It’s just the way that the space divided out to fit everything we use back here up here,” Meyers said.

According to Meyers, ensuring the safety of the facilities and rooms was a priority in the designing process.

“Since you can walk in and get entrance into the women’s locker room, we are trying to move that and keep it a little more secure,” Meyers said. “The nice part is this will secure the pool a little better, too. Although the doors are usually locked it will be nice to have that space secure.”

Freshman Andre Barajas said he believes any renovations made to the high school will positively impact Park.

“I’m happy that they’re doing renovations to it because our weight rooms are really small and compact right now, so for it to become better will be good for all of us,” Barajas said.

Meyers said despite the challenges presented by facility improvements, the admin- istration has worked to prevent any further disturbances.

“It is a little bit of hassle for not having them available in the spring but it is the best, the quickest way we can do it so overall it is the least disruptive instead of stretching it out,” Meyers said.

Meyers said students with lockers on walls in the B1 hallway bordering the locker rooms have received new locker assignments in preparation for construction.

“They worked on that at the beginning of the year to reassign those. They shouldn’t have a locker in those hallways,” Meyers said.