Undergoing change once more


By the end of March, employees from the main office will be temporarily relocated to the south parking lot bungalows to begin taring down the old building and later be added to the new edifice. The automotive construction will begin after teachers from the Z buildings are temporarily relocated.

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

As the school readies to commence construction that will last up to three years, administrators, counselors, and certain teachers are being displaced to different locations beginning the second semester to make way for changes. The new administration building is one in a long series of changes to occur within Downey High, and like prior construction is expected to improve the beauty and productivity of the school. Yet, while the plans hold great promise, one must wonder how those affected view the changes.

Those housed in the main offices and the Z classrooms will be relocated to the south parking lot, which leads to a prevalent problem the school constantly faces: congestion.  Throngs of students enter the school through that medium, and with the addition of temporary buildings the traffic problem is only exacerbated. Of course, the teachers for the special education students also voice concerns over the traffic, for those students are dropped off in the south parking lot by large school buses. As it currently stands, the bus still has minor difficulty entering the school because of the flow students.

Aside from the expected—but not certain—congestion, teachers have overwhelmingly positive attitudes toward the renovation. The only minor complaint is the relocation. ERWC and English 10 teacher Kelly Stratford lauded the improvements:

“I think it’s kinda exciting because we’re basically getting this new automotive area and a new administration building,” Stratford said. “It’s definitely exciting. I think eventually when everything is done the campus is going to look beautiful and probably be one of the nicer ones in the area.”

Stratford also brings up the fact that Downey is extremely fortunate to have the ability to improve so much, especially considering today’s economic climate. Whereas schools all across the nation have had to drastically cut programs and teachers to meet a budget, the Vikings have weathered the storm fairly unscathed.

The displacement is a miniscule complaint, and most teachers are willing to sacrifice because the end result is weighed as more important than the process. Counselor Pam Morse shares this sentiment.

“I think this is great,” Morse said. “We’re going to get an automotive building, which will benefit so many students. Here they have the ability to learn a trade skill and go into the workforce immediately with experience. It’s definitely a positive.”

Yet, teachers are not the only ones who are excited for the future, as students also show excitement over the expected additions to the school. It’s a testament to how resilient and constructive Downey students—and teachers—are. Through the years of renovations, they’ve been adaptive and have shown willingness to part with day-to-day comfort for the ability to gain new improvements.

Freshman Chris DeFelice shares his feelings on the proposed improvement:

“Personally, I think it sounds cool ‘cause it’s really gonna help the school,” DeFelice said. “I hardly pass by the annex, but I wouldn’t mind it if it was torn down.”

On the other hand, junior Nelly Pineda believes that the construction is a hindrance and will only cause more issues with the school.

“I remember how hectic everything got when we were doing the construction for the library and the cafeteria was being fixed,” Pineda said. “I just don’t like going through extra hoops for things that don’t really affect me. I think it will just frustrate a lot of people.”

Already the faculty is feeling the heat of the construction, and it’s for the better. As always, Downey will show its great character and get through this ordeal in one piece.