By Sam S. senior editor
Change can be scary, nerve wracking, and stressful. Learning new systems can be time-consuming and unwanted. But when change comes to the Blessed Trinity community, it can be welcoming, reassuring, and helpful. The changes Blessed Trinity has undergone this year are not just limited to our news website here at Trinity Press. From additional security features to the installation of turf fields, BT has been rejuvenated this year.
The alterations and additions to campus were divided among various aspects of the school. “The improvements centered on three different areas. There was general maintenance and beautification, there was new construction, and there was security,” said BT principal, Mr. Frank Moore.
To refresh the school campus, a four-year paint cycle has begun this year starting with the main and science hallways. Additionally, the gym floor has been repainted and the theater has received a facelift with brand new carpet, paint, and house lighting.
However, some of the more obvious changes to bystanders occurred through
recent construction. From the front of the school to the back fields, the school had construction crews climbing in and out of both campus exits. The school’s main entrance has been reconstructed to introduce new seating and an engraved sidewalk emblem.
Moreover, the school’s interior has been rearranged and renamed the 700 hallway, previously referred to as the connector hallway, to house two more classrooms. The old teacher mailroom has been remade into a permanent study hall room to free up the Media Center, while the Media Center, itself, was shrunk in order to provide a new health classroom. The previous health classroom off of the athletic hallway has become athletic storage. The previous athletic storage closet has been made into storage for the Robotics Team so that they do not clutter the classroom used for the robotics and computer classes as well as this year’s new film production class.
The snowball effect of redoing and building is allowing for the campus to expand into its size. “We’re just out of room. We just did not have enough classrooms.” said Mr. Moore. “The school is bigger than it’s ever been. We are at 970, and we were just running out of space. We were also running out of storage space. We tried to solve multiple problems.”
An additional problem needing solutions came in terms of campus security. The school was analyzed by a private security company and the Roswell police for advice, and then the changes began. Walling in the cafeteria was only the beginning. Around the school additional electronic locks have been added, and every classroom door locks automatically when closed. The Attendance Office has been moved to the Front Office to enable a buzz-in system. Basically transparent to students during the day, the new system disables visitors from getting anywhere in the school other than the Titan Zone and Front Office without being specifically buzzed in.
The accompanying challenges were not just the construction and installation, though. “You want the school to be open and inviting, but if you are going to go real far with the security issues it is going to look and feel like a prison. You try to get a balance on that. So that’s probably the biggest challenge: getting the school looking nice and feeling welcoming but still protecting everybody,” Mr. Moore said.
Each year money is budgeted for general school improvements; however, the capital campaign is underway and progress is evident from the flooring in the gym to the turfed lacrosse field and current construction on the baseball fields.
The changes to athletic areas not only impact their specific sport, but the student body as a whole. Turfed fields and the gym will impact every P.E. class and add to the campus environment. Additionally, other sports are finding unforeseen benefits.
“I think the changes to campus were great this year. With the lacrosse field, it is very soft, so for the runners that are having knee issues or IT band issues or any type of injury they get to run on the field and usually that feels a lot better for them rather that running on the concrete or on the trail. That was a good change,” said cross country coach Greg Johnson.
However, one of the most important aspects to Blessed Trinity is the academics. “I think it’s always significant at our school that we never let academics get behind. A lot of schools with technology will wait until the technology is outdated and then they’ll do a fundraiser to add new technology. We budget on an annual basis to replace a third of the technology every year. We don’t take academics lightly, and we want all of our academics side to be funded every year, so that’s exciting to me that we don’t wait until something is obsolete on the academic side before we revamp it,” said Chuck Oliver, director of development.
A lot of Capital Campaign funds go toward athletics because they are improvements that have been waited on since the school opened in 2000. “It’s exciting to me that we get enough support to continue to do the academic additions on an annual basis, but it’s also exciting to then see the big things we can do, like from the Capital Campaign,” said Mr. Oliver.
Students have been adjusting to all the changes. Though it is different, students see the benefits in all the adjustments being made. “They brought school spirit back by doing this,” said junior Alex Morely.
Many returning students automatically noted the additional safety features on the doors when going to and from class. Automatic locks keep the doors locked whenever they are closed, making the school measurably safer, but bathroom breaks now add a slightly greater interruption to class when the door has to be consistently opened. “The security is a nice addition. It can be sometimes a hassle with all the door locked and the doors to the cafeteria, but it is a safer environment, and you can feel more secure while you’re in the school,” said Robby Gipson, a sophomore.Students from every grade appreciate the give and take, and the taken safety weighs much greater on them than the given awkward trips back into class. “It’s a nice trade off. I mean obviously it’s a little bit harder, you have to knock on doors to get in from the outside, but I think it feels a lot safer, so I’ll take the chance there,” said freshman Brian Daniels.
The BT community will continue to reap the benefits of all the blessed changes that have occurred and will continue on in the school’s future. “Blessed Trinity is on a program to continuously improve and update the school annually…By maintaining the building to a high standard it allows the administration to concentrate on the students rather than dealing with facilities issues,” said Monica Chambers, business manager.