New Year, New U

Reporter, Cassie Trosino

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Structural and physical changes seen throughout the building this year include the TV in the main hallway, the library, the gym floor, and an influx of new teachers.

The changes have made this 50-year-old building more attractive and usable by both students and administration.

Due to lack of hanging space, the alumni board voted on hanging a TV to contain all of the information regarding alumni achievements.

“I hope for a second TV down in the lounge for students soon. That could be used for any band, theatre or athletic announcements,” Athletic Director Wendy Smith said.

Smith said the transition from the Corn Belt Conference into the Central State Eight created the need for new gym floor decor.

“It used to say ‘Corn Belt,’ and that wouldn’t have been allowed,” Smith said.

Senior Ben Bazan immediately noticed the physical changes that were made, such as the

library and the kiosk.

“I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the library. The new floors looked really nice,” Bazan said.

But as far as the TV goes, Bazan said he thinks many students don’t know what its purpose is and it won’t get used.

Assistant Principal Steve Evans said the faculty adjustments were one of the most important adjustments this year.

“Not only do our teachers educate our students well, but they’re also improving the ISU students,” Evans said.

He believes that the new additions to the faculty add strength to U-High.

“It’s our personnel that really improve the school. Our faculty members are taking a step forward,” Evans said.

Principal Andrea Markert said this year’s most important changes are still to come. Some of the changes she anticipates include a glass cover over the senior lot entrance and a more prominent school sign.

“No one knows where to enter the school, and that is a huge problem,” Markert said.

She also said an outdoor classroom is under consideration.

Markert, Evans, and Smith all commented on their hope to sod or seed the soccer field in the spring to end the water drainage issue. Sodding the field would cost $130,000 – by far the most expensive option but may be the best long term solution. Budget Manager Stacey Welter says that athletic upgrades are tough.

“You’re at ISU’s discretion for so many things, we can’t just do what we want,” Welter said.

Welter also said the school is working towards air conditioning in the gym sometime relatively soon, “but that would be coming from our pockets.”

The cost to air condition both gyms would be $220,000. Welter said we have had donors, but we still won’t have enough money to complete the project this year.

A forgotten change that we have every year in the U-High community are the freshman. Ellory Landes, a current freshman said she couldn’t have had a better experience so far.

“U-High is way more challenging academically than my junior high. But the people here are so inviting, especially the upperclassmen,” Landes said.

Bazan said he believes upperclassman can work on friend groups coming together throughout the year.

“Seniors this year haven’t done a great job interacting. We didn’t really take the reins on that one,” Bazan said.

Smith said she hopes the U-Crew can get more organized.

“Overall, U-High is off to a great start, but we have to be aware. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Smith said.

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New Year, New U