Starting June 1, the Media Center will be being remodeled to better meet the student body’s needs. The project is a part of Measure A, a bond passed in 2014 to fund construction projects across the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) and will cost about $4.5 million in total. The project is expected to finish Nov. 21, but it could finish as late as the end of the first semester of the 2018 – 19 school year.
“This is a move towards learning commons with more collaborative space where people come to work on projects, rather than to just be quiet and look at books,” media consultant Elizabeth Snow said. “We’re going to hopefully improve the efficiency of the space for students and teachers.”
The process for this project started three years ago with the idea of making the Media Center a more collaborative place for students.
“What we noticed about that [Media Center] is there were kids having conversations about academics and
doing a Socratic dialogue on their own because it is a very pleasant place to be,” Administrative Vice Principal Gary Gooch said.
Sequoia is on the National Register of Historic Properties so no walls can be moved. The plan is to use the current space more efficiently. Juniors and Media Center student representatives
Cassidy Flynn and Maurice Jakoby created a survey that asks students what they want to see in the renovation.
“People have said they want a more comfortable setting,” Flynn said. “They want more technology to be able to take out.”
Half of the Fireside Room will stay a quiet space while the other half will be a computer lab with updated equipment. Snow has built up Sequoia’s stock pile of cameras, voice recorders and other devices. These are available for students to check out and will be emphasized more.
“I think it’ll be difficult for both students and teachers to accommodate and get used to the new environment,” Flynn said. “But I do think it will be worth it.”
During the first semester of the 2018-19 school year, students with free periods will be moved to Room 128, a room currently used for meetings and testing, which will be equipped with computers, a printer and books. The Media Center is closed the last two weeks because of textbook returns, so students with free periods will not be effected during this Finals Week.
This year, Snow is returning books in the classrooms by scanning them in.
Department heads have been asked to store the textbooks while the remaining books will be in Room 128 or a storage unit.
The archival materials in the side room are being digitized so the materials students aren’t using can be moved to a new home. No archival material will be discarded. Some of it will be put on display after the renovation. The old textbooks will be consolidated and if they’re deemed unused, they will be
sent to SUHSD.
“I’m super glad that they are doing it because I feel like Sequoia is a place where everything’s always advancing and we’re always [making] improvements to help students,” Flynn said. “I think having the
[Media Center], which is the main work spot when you’re not in class, be as good as it can possibly be for everyone [is optimal].”