Students from Washington & Lee High School and Montross Middle School came to the Westmoreland County Public Schools’ central office to meet with architects from the firm Grimm & Parker. Meeting in the School Board meeting room, the students looked at various blueprints of the proposed new high school. Grimm & Parker representatives included Melanie Hennigan, Paul Klee, Scott Eschbach, and Martice Tucker.
Discussions were held on what the students might find important in a new school. In the first group of students, several students and teachers talked about the use of the amphitheater area. The architects had the group visualize a theatre with a smaller “footprint” that could be utilized by more than one group. Hard questions were asked of the group; how many functions are held a year, would they use movable seating, would a classroom be available, and how many people come to events?
Students were asked to express what they wanted in an arrival experience. Most agreed that using a covered walkway was an important way to leave the bus. Others mentioned a glass ceiling, and the use of round tables versus long tables. The Grimm & Parker group referred to the area as a “collaboration commons area.” Students became excited as the architect representative spoke about the dining commons and the new way of choosing food choices. There would be no more single line options only. Students would have a choice of food types; a salad and fruit bar, variety food, and grilled foods.
A great deal of discussion was held regarding the sports and media arts areas. Students asked how spaces would be defined and would there be a designated area for wrestling. Other discussions explored the locker room spaces, health clinic, and media commons. Students were very excited about the extra space for weight training, a Jacuzzi, and training and workout areas for both men and women.