Today’s Pythons Advocate a Renovated Pit

February 28, 2014

Courtesy Photo A rendering of the proposed $22.65 million renovation to Pelham High School which voters will see on the ballot March 11.

by Rhiannon Snide, Pelham High School Intern

The voting on March 11 will, for most adults in Pelham, finally brings an end to the burning discussion on whether or not the proposed remodel on the high school should be put forth.  The irony behind the ending of this discussion is that the students who have experienced and will be experiencing the high school first hand have not been given a chance to express their thoughts on the proposal.

The potential $22.65 million remodel would include a new auditorium, 100 extra parking spaces, and the promise of natural light in every learning area.  The infamous portable classrooms would be replaced by a 29- classroom addition to the front of the high school.  The inconvenience of entering certain classrooms by passing through neighboring rooms would be eliminated.

A survey conducted to share the opinions of students within the school showed 82 percent of those who replied supported the idea of a remodel.  The varying reasons for their support ranged from ideas like “PHS will not be losing as many incoming eighth graders,” “will bring a better name to Pelham,” to “will motivate students to continue their studies.”  For the 18 percent who do not support the remodel, when asked why, most respondents left answers like “I won’t be around to benefit from it,” “It is simply too much money,” and “we need a completely new school, not a remodel.”

Varied results arose when the students were asked about specifics concerning their feelings on the auditorium, parking spaces, and rearrangement of athletic fields.  A 67 percent majority supported the auditorium, while only 7 percent were opposed to the idea.  The remaining 26 percent were indifferent toward the proposition.  Most in favor of the auditorium felt it would be a good space, for not only students to become more involved with the arts, but for the town to congregate for meetings and performances.

Results were similar in the votes for extra parking spaces, an 87 percent majority were in favor, while only 2 percent were opposed, and a low 11 percent were indifferent toward the motion.  The only comments left were by those opposing the parking; they believed the limited parking offers a motive for students to improve their academic performance.

Feedback on the rearrangement of the athletic fields ended the survey with 45 percent supporting, 18 percent opposed, and 37 percent with an indifferent vote.  Comments left by negative or indifferent voters stated they voted in that direction because they do not play sports so the field arrangements do not affect them.

Overall, the students felt the current proposal of an addition/remodel offers the best solution to address the curriculum needs at Pelham High School as well as community space needs for the town.  For the 82 percent supporting the remodel, they express hope that the results of this survey foreshadow a positive majority vote for March 11.