Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can?

As students filed back into the school building after spring break, they were faced with some noticeable changes to the building. Some of these changes were smaller than others, but a change is still a change, so here is a quick summary of what has changed.

To start, the layout in Commons has been switched around in a way that is reminiscent of commons pre-pandemic. The tables now all run parallel to each other along either side of commons with one row of tables running down the center of Commons. While the new configuration may be working well for some, some students noted they found it confusing. “The new table orientation makes the line unclear and takes up too much space,” said sophomore Dov Weinstein Elul.

Other than the tables, the sandwich and salad fridges are now in front of the fireplace, along with the fruit baskets and the condiments (including hot sauce!). There are new bins located around commons and the building to put your Re:Dish containers so that they can be cleaned and reused. The vending machines have also been moved from outside commons to either the student center or the lobby of the Novogratz Building. In addition, there is a new vending machine with “farm fresh food” in the lobby that many students have described as way too overpriced with items such as an Italian Turkey Wrap for $8.79.

There have also been many other changes in the Novogratz Lobby. The benches have been repositioned along with some new tables to create a new hangout area. There is also a decal of the new Blue Devil on each of the four doors entering the lobby. Each devil has its own unique design element representing a different sport played in the Novogratz Building (wrestling, volleyball, squash, and basketball). There is a new blue wallpaper design put up on the walls on either side of the entrance to the new squash courts with “Poly Prep” plastered on one wall and “Blue Devils” on the other. On the vertical steel beam next to the beverage vending machine there is a sideways green decal reading “Poly Fuel,” and there are multiple small Poly Prep decals put on the various doors in the Novogratz Building.

Back in the main building, the carpet in the English hallway now looks like a game of hopscotch with a pattern of blue rectangles stretching the hallway and there are some modern bright lights hanging from above. There is also a classroom in the English hallway, Room 119, that has been renovated. There is a new dark gray color scheme for the doors and the wood paneling in the room along with new white boards that fit perfectly into the wood framing. Instead of a Smart Board, there is a big TV, and there is a huge light fixture that forms a rectangle and hangs from the ceiling.

Head of Upper School Sarah Bates explained that she does “not believe all of the classrooms will be remodeled this summer — as that is an enormous, expensive undertaking — but the hope is that we can do a few [classrooms] at a time and eventually have an upgraded design in many of the main building classrooms over the next few years.”

This is just a look at some of the larger changes to campus, but there are definitely tons of other changes that have gone unnoticed. There will always be something new to see. You just have to find it.