Construction frustration: Staff scrambles to be ready for first day


James Coller ‘13



   After a summer of construction, the staff of LCN returned on August 30, the Thursday before school began, to find rooms that were barren, yet full at the same time. Stepping into the halls of LCN, staff found the floors covered in a layer of dirt and grit. Construction workers were frantically running around trying to finish the last-minute details. LCN was far from complete, and LCN staff members had to begin a battle against time to prepare the school for the ever looming first day of class on September 4.

   Walking into their classrooms, staff members felt mixed emotions. Desks, chairs, and a plethora of boxes were all stacked in the middle of many rooms to greet teachers. Technology was not yet running. The ground was littered with drywall dust from the ever present construction workers still finishing projects.

   “I was overwhelmed by the amount of work it would take to get our rooms back in working condition,” said English teacher Deanna Hammes. “The heat (or lack of air in our rooms) was stifling making long hours and heavy lifting difficult.”

   Staff spent much of the Labor Day weekend before school started working on their rooms. Some had no air conditioning yet, so it quickly became a daunting and laborious task.

   “It was very different to walk into a building that was still under construction. Instead of panicking that our classrooms weren’t perfect, supplies were temporarily missing, and things that seemed so simple in previous years were more complicated, we all came together to ‘make it work,’” said math teacher Sarah Youngs. “I couldn’t find enough Geometry books at first, but that caused me to reevaluate how I could use books in a different way in the classroom.”

   French teacher Marie Howard felt the rush. “Not being able to get in until [the] Thursday before school started was difficult and rushed,” she said, “but we got it done!”

   In addition to dealing with classrooms, individual departments also felt added pressure to major changes to department offices. One major example was the relocation and downsizing of the English department office.

   “My largest dissatisfaction comes with the loss of the English Department’s book room,” said English teacher Deborah Hoepfner. “All the books are on the floor right now and it is a giant mess. We have no shelves yet for all those paperbacks. I was told they would be coming, but who has time to shelve all those paperbacks?”

   On the first day back, teachers went to the new office to pick up books to find only a sea of boxes filling the room.

   “The loss of the English office creates a logistical nightmare,” said English teacher and department leader Wayne Cook.

   While the changes have negatively affected some, there has been a silver lining in that most teachers are happy with the results of construction. LCN administrators are also doing everything they can to help. Cook said, “The office has been tremendously helpful.”