The KPS district is hoping to revitalize the look of Loy Norrix and give Norrix a better reputation as well as attract more students and families.
“The district [KPS] is pushing and doing what it takes to keep our school up and going,” said Principal Rodney Prewitt.
The renovation includes brand new three-paned windows with blinds placed within the glass, that will help minimize distractions, keep the sun out of students’ eyes, help cool rooms down during warmer months, and give better visibility when teachers are using projectors. All windows throughout the school will be replaced, as well as the 92 exterior doors and a change of appearance of the outer walls. The outer walls will be halfway built with brick and the top half will be glass. The windows in “the Tower” will be replaced with blue tinted glass to complement the color changes. These changes are entailed to be completed by the summer of 2019, starting with the back of the building in the B and C wings.
At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, some of the exterior walls have already been redone, and the B and C wings are on their way to being completed. Although some classrooms have new windows, there aren’t blinds placed within the glass of the windows yet, which forces teachers to get creative in regards to blocking out the sunlight in their classrooms.
History teacher Jimmy Johnson says that he misses being able to open his windows and that the new windows don’t give his classroom enough insulation or wind flow. With no blinds, it makes it harder for Johnson’s students to focus while being able to see the beautiful scenery just outside of his classroom. Along with being distracted, the sun can cause Johnson’s students to struggle to see the board.
“We didn’t get what was promised to us,” Johnson said with a frown on his face.
Although some students and staff aren’t satisfied with the renovation, Prewitt is happy with what has been completed so far. He is excited to see how the new renovations are coming along and the overall transformation of Norrix. Prewitt was concerned that Norrix wouldn’t be ready to open for the first day of school, but luckily the construction company’s [Skillman Corporation] ability to work quickly eased Prewitt’s concerns.
A survey of two hundred Loy Norrix students found that many students feel that replacing the glass with brick makes the school more prison-like. Students wish that the renovations could have been finished all over the school so that the building could have a more cohesive look. Many students are disappointed and feel that the renovation has changed the school’s curb appeal.
Loy Norrix has always had a reputation of looking like a “glass castle” and is known for its teal paint.
Through the survey, junior Acacia Harper said, “They didn’t do everything that they said they would. Bringing the brick up in the hallways eliminates the “glass castle” look that Norrix is known for.”
Junior Ophelia Smith said, “The renovations make it feel as though we are imprisoned with the walls built halfway up, instead of windows from floor to ceiling.”
Lots of work was completed over the summer of 2017 to begin renovations with even more scheduled for summer 2018.
Coming from someone who saw it all happen, security officer Jacqueline Hampton said, “I worked this summer doing security for the renovations. I think they are really nice. I like how they changed the color, I like how they made the windows wider, and how the hallways are wider. I think the renovations are a great idea.”