PA will see new renovations in coming spring

Helena Savage and Katie Smith

The clock strikes 7:15 and PA’s students begin flooding into classrooms to take a seat at their new chair and desk arrangement. This will be the reality for students when returning after spring break. “We’re getting new student seating so new desks and new chairs in roughly three-fourths of the building,” said assistant principal Kelly Arble.

This change is just one of the many renovations occuring at PA in the coming year. Changes will take place in the building throughout spring break and continue during summer. “In June we’re hoping to be able to get furniture for the rest of the building that we’re not able to do with the funds we get for the spring break delivery,” said Arble. Last fall, central office began to enforce the decision to install new changes across the PA campus.

Since most of the rooms throughout the school are still furnished with older desks, these rooms will be given new, larger desks. These new desks are bigger, come with a separate chair, and can easily be put into pods. New furniture is one of the more significant changes occurring at PA since “we were able to get 300 plus thousand dollars in reversion funds from the school board to use on furniture,” said Arble. Reversion funds will allow the school to make these new renovations, and implement more school wide changes to modernize and beautify the 64 year old school.

Principal Danny Little highlighted that the recent decision to begin adding renovations to our school came from “students, parents, and staff members continuing to ask our school board when are we in line for a new building” as well as “sharing the conditions of your current building.” The current main goal of PA’s administration and Central Office is to ensure that they take students and parents concerns into account and “take a closer look at Princess Anne and see what we can do to make that a comfortable and useful but also an appropriate learning environment until we are on the slate for a new building,” said Little.

Along with the new desks, “Some other changes that are going to take place are painting school wide, so they’re going to paint over the summer every paintable surface of the building so inside and out,” said Arble. This includes the box office, concession stand, and the stadium. Fresh new coats of paint are going to bring the outside areas of PA alive, and they have the potential to revamp the interior as well.

One aspect of PA’s unique interior is the murals which decorate the walls of several of the biology classrooms. However, “The murals in the bio rooms are going to be painted over so everything is going to be painted and just get freshened up,” said Arble. The goal of the new paint around the school is “that everything has a really clean uniform look that just makes the school feel nicer and fresher.”

Another renovation occurring on the inside of PA is new light installations to improve the overall atmosphere and school environment for students. “We are going to have some lighting upgrades, which you may have already noticed in the foyer,” Arble said. The front foyer of the school will not be the only location where new lighting will be added. “They’ve installed some LED lighting in some of the older parts of the building so in the cafeteria, the 500 hallway, the 100 halls so just brightening everything up.”.

However, the new LED lighting, largely fashioned desks, and fresh coats of paint are not the most elaborate of all the new school changes that will be enforced. Since this has been a transformative year for schools across VBCPS, the school wants to create more student friendly, interactive spaces. This has led to the decision that “we are going to resurface all of the chalk boards and turn them into whiteboards,” said Arble. Along with the new whiteboards, lockers may also be removed to create more space for students in the hallways. “We are hoping to have some lockers removed in the 200 hallways and 900 hallways to put in some like benches and create more usable spaces for students.” Since the school now has new policies such as one lunch, central office and the administration are working towards revamping yet another part of the student environment here at PA.

PA is the oldest high school in Virginia Beach and although this current campus will be here for several more years, school officials aim to improve students´ learning environment through these changes. “It’s sort of like when you’re selling a house and you fix up the house to make sure it is pleasant and it’s there until you are able to move out,” said Little. “It may not be exactly what you want at that time, but it’s usable and it’s comfortable.”