Coping with construction: students’ reflections on school renovations

by Shreeyans Sahu (’23) and Will Li (’23) | November 19, 2021

Photo by Alexander Hadig ('22)
Photo by Alexander Hadig (’22)

In light of construction associated with the Light the Way program, campus has certainly been transformed. What was once the 300 building is now an expanse of dirt with the foundations of an Innovation Center, what was once a patch of the Quad where students congregated is now the Urban Bloc, and what was once a relatively peaceful auditory ambiance is now one irregularly interrupted by the noise of construction. Students hold numerous opinions regarding the construction and the changes to campus, and The Lancer recently asked them about their perspectives. 

A vast majority of Lancers enjoy the current version of campus. “I think the school is doing everything it can to make it a smooth transition,” said Hailey Multz (’22), praising the renovations. “It’s not an ideal situation, but they have adapted well.” 

Suchita Rao (’24) appreciates the “boost” that the new building will provide to Saint Francis’ science and technology programs, and Krish Agarwal (’23) shared that he “likes to watch construction at school.” 

Even with the sorrowful sentiments some students exhibit regarding the demolition of the 300 building, Adarsh Gupta (’23) does not miss it, citing that it was “very old,” “out of date,” and that the air conditioning sometimes malfunctioned. The new classrooms “will bring the old building styles into the modern century,” he added. 

Some students complain of the distraction that the construction poses to science lessons, while others are unbothered. Matthias Vollier (’25) said that his teacher can simply close the door if disturbances ever arise, and Rao explained that “the noises aren’t constantly occurring, so they don’t distract me too much.” 

If there is any shared sentiment within the sea of opinions on the temporary campus setup, it would be disdain for the portables, especially their substantial distance from most other buildings on campus. Multz emphasized the “annoying” trek from the portables to the 600 building, and Rao added, “I often worry if I can get to class on time.”

Gupta also mentioned that the traditional classroom setting “felt more homely” in comparison to the portables’ noisy floors. 

Another mutual sentiment was disappointment among upperclassmen. “I’m very excited, but I’m also sad that I will only get one semester to use [the new building],” said Gupta. 

Multz concurred, emphasizing that although the new building is “super cool,” she will not be able to use it since it will be completed after her graduation. 

Needless to say, most students realize the future advantages that the renovations will bring. Not only does Rao feel that the building “will look great in the end,” but Multz also described the new classrooms as “super helpful” for future generations.

Generally, students accept the irritating short-term effects of the construction for its lasting benefits. “I think it can be a little cumbersome and intrusive,” said Gupta. “But I also think it’s necessary to help improve the school over the long run.”

Categories: Features

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