School Remodel of Nightmares


Photo by Michael Gaida

Have you ever fallen asleep in Language Arts? History, maybe? Fear not, Bingham High School remodel has just the thing for you: terror! And TVs. But mostly terror.

Last year, when school transferred to online learning, the construction crew pushed forward with the vocational hall’s remodel. Might as well make use of that extra time without anyone in the building. It won’t take too long either, right?

Wrong. The vocational hall remodel was supposed to take a couple of months. However, the rest of quarantine, summer break, and first quarter needed to go by before students were allowed inside again. Construction didn’t stop until even more weeks had passed.

“A couple of months” turned into over half a year. And now they’re saying that the second floor is going to be remodeled, too? The second floor isn’t that different from the vocational hall. Sure, there’s less technical equipment. But from what I’ve heard, it was delays in demolition and material delivery that slowed down the construction. 

We can’t take half a year for the second floor. Where would we put the 40+ second floor classes? The auditorium? Nope. They’re redoing that too.

All that time’s going to be worth it, though. Once everything’s over, it’s going to look so much better. Say goodbye to the old brick jails, and welcome the new floor to ceiling non-bulletproof windows and glass doors. It’s not like there’s a school shooting epidemic or anything.

The vocational hall already has these windows and glass doors. Sure, it looks good. Great, even. But it’s terrifying when you consider what would happen if the unthinkable happens.

Enough about the sad stuff. After the remodel, all projectors will be replaced with TVs. Several are already installed in the vocational hall. According to Mr. Jensen, the electronics and engineering teacher, this is because it’s cheaper to buy TVs once than it is to buy a projector and replace the bulb every few years. High quality projector bulbs are usually around $100-$200 each, which can be up to half the price of the projector itself.

In the long run, however, I would think that the projectors would be cheaper. I doubt the fragile TV will be able to stand up to hundreds of students walking next to it in a small room. When you factor in any roughhousing, the chances drop even farther. Scratches will appear in a year or two, and it will only go downhill from there. Less than half the price of the projector every few years is better than the whole price of the TV every few years.

Maybe the school’s got a real good warranty, you might say. However, no warranty is going to cover a “student ‘A’ German suplexed student ‘B’ into the TV ” incident. If there is a warranty like that, please tell me. I wanna get that TV. But the more likely answer is that the replacement will come out of our wallets, the taxpayer wallets.

Bingham needs to be remodeled. We all know that. But the way they’re doing it is wrong. We need an upgraded security system, not weaker walls. Maybe instead of buying fancy TVs they could overhaul the HVAC system or address the mess of a parking lot. There’s a lot that we need, and these superficial changes aren’t part of it.