New Admin Building Pays Off
Short-term pain for long-term gain could very well be the motto for Helix’s recent administration move on campus.
Returning students and Helix staff vividly remember the continuous construction that has occurred on campus over the years, specifically the construction of a brand new administration building. The process is generally long, yet many feel it has been well worth the wait and noise.
Of the many, Helix Office Manager, Mark Demers, expressed his excitement for a, “new and convenient building.” As the finishing touches have been added during the first few weeks of school. The building brings out a, “nicer side [to the Helix campus] and has been an easy way to locate staff if need be.”
It appears as if Helix abruptly began the construction process earlier this year. Interestingly enough, that is only half the truth. The idea of a new building was under consideration for several years prior.
Demers confirms the plans for a new administration building were neither swift, nor out of the blue, but rather a priority put on the backburner. He specifically mentions that while he, “saw the original plans about 8 months ago,” he knew from the very start of his career at Helix that “there would be a certain amount of time” before any immediate action would be taken. Considering Helix’s facilities have transformed over the years, Demers says that this was primarily because, “our first priority was the students.”
As of now, Helix has upheld their priorities by first updating facilities including the pool, P.E rooms, and even a new performing arts building – all student based necessities.
The building has been a long and exciting process that ultimately paid off. For Helix, it has become a symbol of a refined school that showcases its comprehensive nature. It has put, “the front of campus on this side…and creates a better environment by moving away from University Avenue and Highlander Way to the other side of campus,”says Demers, who personally, “ likes it better because it’s a brand new building and has a nice view of the landscape [not to mention the quiet since there] isn’t as much foot traffic.”
Demers has also informed The Fling that the school’s physical flip calls for an address change that has already been arranged. Physically the school address will be 4200 Lowell Street, but the mailing address will remain as 7323 University Avenue.
As a result, visitors will be directed to enter campus on the side of the student parking lot.
The old administration building is still very much in use according to Demers. “The staff mailboxes are still located there, as well as the Duplicating Office, Business Office, Technology Department, and Facility Manager’s Office. New to the Old Admin Building is the Wellness Center, IEP Workroom, and Special Education Offices”.
A collection of staff testimonials divulge the beauty and value of Helix’s newest building as “spacious and favorable.”
However, certain students perceive the building as being beneficial overall but its location to be disadvantageous at times.
Tony Figueroa, a sophomore, feels that the new administration building is “really impressive.” He particularly thinks it is, “welcoming and sort of sets a mood for Helix and how the campus is gonna represent us.” He, however, firmly believes that the campus, “shouldn’t have been flipped” because it only focuses on one aspect of campus instead of the campus as a whole. As a student, he simply prefers that the old administration building be renovated instead of changing its location. He admits he is biased in his opinion because the, “location isn’t favorable to my class schedule and where I need to be if I were to be late one morning.“
Another student, Jennifer Silva, admitted that it is, “definitely a step up from the old building, and much better especially inside wise.” Silva shared the opinions of Figueroa, in that, “it takes [her] twice as long to get to class. When I come on campus I get dropped off on University Avenue, so I have to walk to [what is now] the front then to the back and down to the bungalows.”
With that being said, the construction on campus is not over. Next up will be the gym remodel. Although no one is sure when that will begin, it is estimated to be within the year.
Short-term pain for long-term gain, a motto that can invariably apply to the transformation of Helix Charter High School. Construction is a hassle and a process that genuinely feels like forever, but in the end, the pros outweigh the cons. The new administration building is officially open and already in business, so don’t forget to stop by and check it out you just might like it.