Not Since 1959
By BELA KIRPALANI
This past summer, Jericho’s middle and high school campus underwent 14 major renovations including the high school cafeteria, the guidance wing, and the auditorium. These improvements have redefined the look of the school and have excited both students and staff.
The most notable enhancement is the brand new cafeteria furniture with round tables and stools, modern booths with the Jayhawk logo, and funky counter stools in the senior lounge. This has given the cafeteria a new, fresh look and Jericho students are very pleased. Senior Sophie R. said, “I feel like I’m in ‘High School Musical.’ I love it!”
The floors leading to the guidance wing are brand new and the modern ceiling in the front circle lobby has temporary lighting until the new fixtures come in later this month. The middle school library and the high school’s learning center have been completely re-carpeted. The weight room has been refurbished and over 400 new student desks have been added to classrooms. The auditorium is still under construction, and will be completed later this fall complete with new security cameras.
Along with the multitude of indoor upgrades, there have been outdoor changes as well. There is new fencing by the bus circle, the size of the sidewalk has been doubled, padding has been added in the dugout areas behind the backstops of the baseball and softball fields, and new drains have been installed in the front circle to minimize flooding.
Another innovation that has arrived in Jericho is the installation of four Elkay EZH2O filtered water fountains made specifically to fill up reusable water bottles in order to help the environment. Senior Olivia S. is ecstatic about the arrival of these cool, new fountains and said, “They have them at my gym, and I think they’re great for the environment because they make you reuse your water bottles and they’re super fun!” Senior Jaclyn S. agreed and said, “I’m glad that Jericho has these now, and I like how they tell you how many plastic bottles of water are being saved by using that fountain.” These fountains are located outside of each gymnasium, and two are expected to be installed in each elementary school as well.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs Mr. Victor Manuel explained that these improvements were funded through capital projects and through the general fund. He said, “The auditorium was a separate proposition that the voters authorized in May of 2014. Annually though, we allocate funds for capital improvements in the school budget.” While $3.8 million was spent on restoring the auditorium and adding the security cameras, an estimated amount of $500,000 was spent by the Jericho Board of Education on other capital building improvements over the summer. Many of these projects were necessary because the District felt some parts of the building were old and required renovation.
“In many cases, it was time to provide some renovations; some of the areas had safety issues. And the renovation of the auditorium was essential because it’s actually original to the building, which was built in 1959,” Manuel said.
The student body is grateful for these renovations, especially since 1959 was quite a long time ago.