by Dylan Carlson, ’19

After renovations all throughout the 2015-2016 school year, the new Learning Center is finally finished. There have been multiple changes such as the blackboards, the experimental classroom and numerous additions of tables, desks, and furniture. Among other changes, the labs were brought back to the LC from the cafeteria.

Honors FLC teacher Aline Giroux said that the labs moving back to the LC has made it beneficial for both students and teachers.

“Now that the labs are back in the LC, it is much easier for students and teachers to work and collaborate. It’s next to the department offices, so the teachers have all their papers and resources with them,” Giroux said. “Also, the new LC has a more academic environment to it; I have seen students more focused and taking advantage of their study halls to ask teacher questions or work with other students.”

Junior AJ Cleveland finds the renovations to the LC to have made it easier to focus and work as well. 

“The new desks and chairs are much better than the last ones. The old LC was really dark and it wasn’t in very good shape and it was really loud because everyone was goofing off,” Cleveland said. “It is much quieter now, I can work with groups up here [second floor of the LC] and actually focus.”

However, Sophomore Eli Shoemaker disagrees that the renovations were necessary and believes the old LC was more productive and a better work environment.

“Because the space is so open now, I feel it is easier to get distracted; especially, on the second floor,” Shoemaker said. “With the old LC, the rows of seats on the second floor made it easier to do homework. The new LC is more fun, but I don’t think it is the best place to concentrate.”

The construction of the new LC has been a project at the UAHS for several years. Principal Andrew Theado elaborates on the beginning and development of the plans for the new student center.

“It took a lot of work. This has been in the works since I was an assistant principal four years ago. Our teachers found the Steelcase grant, so they wrote a grant and submitted it,” Theado said. “We were a great candidate, considering our ambitions and ideas with the experimental classroom. We got it along eight other schools out of about four hundred high schools.”

Theado also explained the procedures of the high school in designing and incorporating the Steelcase grant to the new LC.

“There was actually a design team of teachers who planned the space and designed the experimental classroom for the [Steelcase] grant,” Theado said. “They were amazing. I am very glad with the space and how it has turned out, it has a much better atmosphere.”

The new LC is still in its dawn at Upper Arlington High School. However, the renovations, experimental classroom, and relocation of the teacher labs has primarily had a positive reception.