You May Not Recognize the School: What to expect when you’re reconstructing


It’s August 2018, the first day of your senior year. As you wind your way down the road towards Lincoln High School, your home outside of home for the past three years, you are overcome by a wave of nostalgia. Although you still have a long way to go until June, you cannot help but to reminisce on the fond memories you have of your high school career. As you pull into the parking lot, you reflect on how every inch of this school is infused with these details of this past chapter of your life, how each classroom and turn of the hallway will forever be imprinted in your own personal story.

Out of pure habit, you begin to make your way to the front doors of the school. Or what used to be the front, anyway. However, the familiar set of doors are not waiting for you as they were for the past three years. Instead you are greeted by mere rubble and ruin, a construction site both unfamiliar and rather disagreeable. For a moment, it is all you can do to stand in awe at the shocking site.

Soon you are directed to your left, across the former administrative parking spots to what was once the entrance to the north wing. You take tentative steps forward, still having a difficult time processing what you are seeing. You had heard about the renovation of the school, of course; it had been the talk of the town the year prior. Despite this, the upcoming changes had not hit you until this very moment, and hit you they did. Like walking into a brick wall, the impact is jarring.

A quick look to your right reveals much of the same scene to which you were acquainted with earlier. From the former welcoming offices of Mrs. Karen Kruth and Mr. Chris Smith all the way past guidance is unrecognizable. The center where you checked in late more often than you would like to admit; the library where you spent time pouring over the books for countless school projects; the guidance office where, just a few months ago, you discussed your plans for the year to come, hand crafting the perfect schedule for your final year: all of it gone, entirely demolished, replaced only by a hint of what is to come.

You look to your left and are met with yet another major development. The north gym where you once played floor hockey in gym class has been entirely transformed. The area has become a hub for everything, serving as the temporary home for the center, administrative offices, guidance, and even the nurse’s office. You take a minute to let the strangeness of the change soak in before moving on down the old middle school. Feelings of relief wash over you as you travel across the skybridge and down the hallway of the C-200s, their familiarity a comfort in the midst of everything.

Your ease is soon disturbed once more when you venture down the stairs and go to take a right up the connector. Like the front of the building, the ramp has become indistinguishable. Demolition has overtaken this part of the school as well, leaving behind little resemblance of what once was. The art room, the room in which you discovered your creative side freshmen year, is simply gone. As you drink in the scene before you, you come to the conclusion that this is going to be a very weird year.

The renovation of Lincoln High School is set to begin in July of 2018, which is less than a half of a year away from this month. As of now, the first areas of the school to undergo construction are the hallway that stretches from Mrs. Kruth’s room to the health room as well as the connector. The plan is for the area of the connector to be transformed into the new faculty and student dining area as well as the new library.

Following in the years after are the renovations of the old cafeteria, both of the C-wings, the four corners, the 300s, and the automotive technology room. Finally, the old middle school will be the last thing to be worked on. Like the connector and front hallway, this area will be totally demolished. However, unlike the others it will not be rebuilt. If money permits, there is also the possibility of a new administrative building being built in the end.

These changes are not expected to be easy. With all of the construction, getting from one end of the school to the other will pose a bit of a challenge and may end up requiring some sort of temporary solution, such as a makeshift hallway. When construction begins on the cafeteria, lunchtime will most likely have to be broken into four separate lunches rather than the usual three, and it is also possible that some classrooms will have to function as interim senior lunch areas. Teachers will have to share space as different classrooms begin to be renovated. The annual Senior Variety Show may have to find a new home on the stage of the auditorium at Lincoln Middle School.

The important thing to remember about these renovation plans, according to Principal. Kevin McNamara and Department Head David Schofield who is the teachers’ liaison to the renovation team, is that they are very fluid. Nothing has been set in stone, with each new day bringing more and more changes. The best part about the fluid nature of these plans is the fact that each new version is better than the one before it. The ultimate goal is to have a plan that will not only lead to the best possible outcome for the school but also to make the transition as comfortable as possible for both students and staff.

Change, especially when it is on such an immense scale, can be both scary and frustrating. As human beings, we are prone to resisting even the slightest change, even when we know it will be good for us. As Mr. Schofield puts it, the upcoming renovation will require “a few years of patience and cooperation.” And, while it may be difficult at times, the final product is sure to be worth it.

So, for those students walking into this new world next school year, just remember how incredible it will be to walk into an entirely new school in a few short years.