Life is very different for Bishop Luers students and staff this year. For returning members of the Luers family, the school has changed from an old, yet well-kept building, into a big construction zone. For many freshmen, their first glimpse of Luers included exposed pipes and a lack of ceilings.
Each student has his or her own reaction about the new look at Bishop Luers. Senior Austin Hayes commented, “Paula Zoch and I agree that all of the construction work makes the school look like the bowels of the Titanic.”
Other students, like junior Josh Archbold, may not be taking any notice at all. When questioned about how the construction was affecting him, Archbold asked, “We’re having construction?”
Whether noticed or not, the new place Luers has developed into did not come without the efforts of many people over the summer. A team of construction workers, custodians, staff, and students worked together to get as much done as possible during the months off.
Several Bishop Luers students also helped with the work, including senior Matt Schenkel. “I was working for Shawnee Construction over the summer and was forced to come to Luers even on summer vacation!” said Schenkel.
Mark Jones, the head of the custodial staff, commented on the plans for construction during the school year. “Our biggest project for now is to replace windows,” he said. “We’ll be moving classrooms, two at a time, one upstairs and one downstairs, so that we can get the old windows out and the new windows in.” Other projects for the school year include replacing the lights, re-bricking the front entrance, replacing ceiling tiles, and finally, in the spring, installing the air-conditioning unit.
One of the biggest projects of the summer was the asbestos removal. A special team came in to safely remove the hazardous insulation from the classes in sophomore hall, the guidance offices, and the front office. Another project started over the summer was the drilling of holes and installation of pipes for the new heating/cooling system.
It cannot be denied that the construction has made the learning atmosphere at Luers very different. Students have had mixed reactions as to whether the change is for the better or for the worse.
Several students have commented on the construction, “I like the construction because the echo allows me to hear anything twice, in case I wasn’t paying attention the first time,” said sophomore Zach Schenkel.
The darkness of sophomore hall has posed a problem for sophomore Courtney Litchfield. She said, “I wake up wanting to go back to sleep, then I walk into sophomore hallway and I want to sleep even more!”
So much has already changed about Bishop Luers in just the first few months of construction. However, there is still a great deal of work left to do. The construction has only just begun, and the students and staff of Bishop Luers are in for a school year full of beeps, crashes, and bangs.
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