Renovations to reach beyond library, parking lot

“Small school, big heart” is the current motto of Marshall High School. However, the motto may soon be subject to change due to renovations that will be expanding the school to accommodate the growing student population.

“There will be certain areas that are blocked off to students and general public throughout construction,” Construction Manager for the Marshall HS Project Brady Rauch said.

Renovations will be completed by November of 2014.

The renovations, which start this summer, will start at the front of the school with the addition of 7,700 square feet of administrative space.

At the same time, a two-story, 55,000-square-foot classroom addition will also be constructed at the back of the school in the upper parking lot.

“We’re going to lose parking,” principal Jay Pearson said, “because the addition will take up space in the back lot.”

Junior Kat Porcell believed that the parking lot was already small enough the way it was and that expanding into the parking lot could have a negative impact on students.

“If the parking lot shrinks, then at some point there’s going to be too many cars and not enough parking,” she said.

In sophomore Garrett Wood’s opinion, less parking “encourages people to carpool, which is a good thing because you can ‘save the environment’… [but] some kids wouldn’t get as much of a chance to learn and actually practice driving.”

According to Pearson, the library will also be losing some space for shelving.

“Our nonfiction division of the library does not grow to the extent it used to because we invest so much in online databases,” librarian Judith Watson said.

Other than less space for nonfiction, Pearson also mentioned that the overall concept of an open, inviting and casual environment would be maintained, “just taken to a larger scale and at the same time having some structured areas for instruction.”

Watson said that she was excited about the renovations. “It is going to be a beautiful, 21st century space dedicated to students,” she added.

The space will be taken from Michael Hall, fusing the library and the lecture hall.

“There are going to be a lot of spatial re-configurations in the new renovations” in order to accommodate a new computer lab and additional seating, which will be integrated into the space, Watson said.

According to Rauch, there will be no safety procedures students will have to abide by while construction is taking place. However, he added “students should have an increased awareness of construction traffic [and signs], particularly when exiting the building for the fields and temporary classrooms.”

Once the renovations are compeleted there will be approximately 80,000 square feet of added space to the school.

“I think I’m going to like the end result,” Wood said. “Unfortunately, I’m not really going to be around to see it, but I’d say that it would be worth it.”