OPS renovations reach North’s art wing


Student from Allison Spencer’s Pottery 1-2 class washes dried clay off her hands. Over the summer, the shelves hung against the new wall were added. Photo by Emily Mann

Emily Mann, News Editor

Throughout the last few years, OPS has spent millions of dollars on school renovations. Over the summer, North’s art wing received new floors, ceiling tiles, and walls, now adding it to OPS’s list of recently upgraded schools. Accompanying North on that list, is Lothrop Elementary.

Over the 2017-2018 school year, Lothrop received 7 million worth the renovations. Due to the magnitude of the renovations, students and staff at Lothrop were relocated to the US Mills building for the duration of the year. Despite the relocation, Gary Westbrook, principal at Lothrop, still views the renovations in good light.

He says, “Lothrop students and staff were affected positively by the renovation project,” Westbrook continues stating that the staff and students can now have a “sense of pride” in having a new and safe building.

Allison Spencer, pottery teacher at North, also shares the same positive attitude toward North’s own upgrade.

Jarred Borosko, 12, (left) works with Justin Parker’s Art 3-4 class in the renovated gallery. Borosko said the art wings “deserved” their renovations and has created a better work environment.
Photo by Emily Mann

“The renovation is great,” said Spencer, “It has not had a negative impact at all…The students help keep it clean since it is nice and new and so much brighter.”

Spencer said that her, along with some of the other teachers, can now display power points more efficiently by being able to turn off their own sets of lights. In addition, there are now walls that separate each room that lessen disruptions from other classes.

Overall, Spencer labels the upgrades as “definitely worth it.”

Haynes mentions the approval for more future renovations saying, “We’re looking at renovating the center wing of the second and third floors.” Haynes said that those areas of the building have not been updated since the Bond Issue of 1992.

However, as of last May, a new Bond Issue has been approved meaning these are only the beginning of many renovations to be done to OPS schools within the next few years. The Bond
will be responsible for roughly $409.9 million in renovations to elementary, middle, and high schools throughout OPS. The most prevalent of these renovations will be the addition of five new schools- two elementary, one middle, and two high schools.

Justin Parker’s Art 3-4 class works on their artwork during B8. The classes are currently working on pieces with combinations of organic and geometric aspects.
Photo by Emily Mann