by Angela Bullock
NAHS class officers from the class of 2015 and 2016 have collaborated with school administration in hopes to design a new and improved courtyard for students to use.
The idea began in the Spring of 2015 with the class officers going back and forth with Principal Juelis to do something for the school as a whole to make it so that everyone can be able to enjoy the front courtyard. The renovations to the front schoolyard was the 2015 class gift, but they were unable to finance the entire thing so they invited the class of 2016 to help.
At first, the class of 2015 planned to put an LED sign on Landry which would scroll announcements, such as sports and events happening at the school. The sign did not go through because of problems with the town such as how the electricity would be paid for and who would continuously put the announcements up.
Class of 2015 officer Ryan Ma, who played a big role in the process of the renovations, explained the thinking behind the renovations.
“The front of the building was looking run down and, after the sign didn’t go through, the class of 2016 was graduating so we decided to collaborate and spend our money collectively on renovating the front of the school.”
The finances for the renovations came from the class of 2015 and 2016. The idea for the two classes collaborating came from Mr. Juelis. The class of 2015 raised money through trivia bowls, dodgeball tournaments, candy sales, and the sales from Ms. Hanley’s handmade scarves.
Rachel Faris, the class treasurer from the class of 2015 said, “We had enough money for our proms and graduation activities, and enough leftover to leave behind a pretty nice class gift after graduation, as goes the tradition. When the LED light did not go through, we all went off to college without having given a gift and the money still in our class account. Last school year, Ms. Hanley contacted us about an idea Mr. Juelis had to renovate the front of the school. Mr. Juelis told us that he had already talked to the class of 2016 officers, and they were willing to go in on the project with us as a combined class gift from 2015 and 2016.”
In May of 2015, the senior class officers met with Mr. Juelis to discuss his vision for the courtyard. Faris recalled that Mr. Juelis had gotten the idea to renovate the front of the school when his wife came to the school and could not find the entrance because of the odd setup.
The process began by tearing down the concrete horseshoe and putting grass in.
“By leveling that area it not only makes it more useful as a sitting area for students who are waiting to get picked up after school, but it also allows for a more direct line of sight from the main office/lobby into the parking lot,” Faris said.
The renovations took about a month, beginning in July and ending in August, right before the students came back for the upcoming school year.
Ma described the goals for the renovations saying, “We hope to add flowers, possibly lampposts and maybe a wooden sign in order for the front of the building to be more aesthetically pleasing both for those who are visiting and the students and faculty who attend the school daily.”
Some of the people involved in the ideas and the process of the renovations were Principal Mr. Juelis, Athletic Director Mr. Kummer, the 2015 officers Rachel Faris and Ryan Ma, and the 2016 officers Jimmy Schromm and Merry Johnson.
The high school’s building and grounds staff worked tirelessly during the heat of the summer to finish the extensive renovations before the start of the school year, with the finishing touches coming in the final week of August. Patrick Guthrie, Wayne Jarvis, John Gould, Eric Gould, Chris George, John Clarinet, Dale Gaudette, and John Bellissimo were all a part of the team who helped transform the front of the school.
The 2016 class hopes that the classes of 2017, 2018 and so on will all work to beautify the school. Additional plans for further renovation are hopefully putting in picnic tables, landscaping, new lamp posts and a new sign for the front of the school.
Faris said, “Hopefully this idea of the class gift being a renovation project will continue for a few more years, because I think it’s a really great way for a class to leave behind a nice legacy. The idea of a class gift is to give something that has a positive impact on the school/a large number of people and will last for many years, and I think that a new front courtyard is something that can really do that.”
“Ideally, after 10 or so years the entire outside of the school will get reworked, even including near Beaupre Field,” shared class officer, Ryan Ma.