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The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

Hallway renovations surprise students after winter break

Over+winter+break+the+hallways+were+renovated+with+new+carpet%2C+fresh+paint%2C+and+LED+lighting.++See+the+difference+above.
Kaleb Cervantes
Over winter break the hallways were renovated with new carpet, fresh paint, and LED lighting. See the difference above.

As students and staff returned from Winter Break on Jan. 8, they were met with noticeable changes in the hallways,  including fresh white paint, bright lights and carpet, as well as the removal of the historical display case outside Jack Willie Gym. All senior class photos were removed except for the Class of 2023. These changes were directed by Superintendent Sean Dorsey with the intent to modernize the school as a first step to increase enrollment. 

With a declining enrollment of 390 students at the high school from a pre-COVID enrollment of around 500 students yearly, the district is looking to attract new students. 

“One of the things that we felt like we could afford both at the high school and middle school in the short term, was to just brighten up the space,” Dorsey said.  

 The majority of the backlash from the community has not come over the new carpet and lights, but over the removal of the senior class composite photos. A plan to display the photos going forward is still in the works.

“Our plan is to create a space in the high school where those physical pictures could live and be accessible, so they’re not going away,” Dorsey said. “But there also has to be spaces where current students’ accomplishments are celebrated. I am pretty aware that there are some significant awards that are sitting in classrooms that should be displayed that are more about current students.”

One of the big questions among community members is who in the district decided to make the changes. “I certainly consulted building level leadership, other district leaders and just other members of the district,” Dorsey said. “But I will also own that ultimately, at the end of the day, certain decisions you have to leave them at the foot of somebody, and I take that responsibility.”

While currently the renovations have been focused on the hallways, there are ideas to expand into classrooms, bathrooms and the commons. 

“Our hope is to make sure that that’s something that’s public and accessible and make sure that kids, alumni and staff can access that, and we have some exciting things that we’re working through there,” Principal Anna Conrad said. “Once we have more information, we’ll be happy to make an announcement.”

Balancing tradition with modernization is important for a historic place like Manitou Springs, where some families have three generations of Mustangs. 

“Tradition is more than just how the building looks because obviously we do want to maintain it, and we want to make the building as aesthetically pleasing as we can while maintaining our traditional values,” social studies Teacher Sam Duff said. “Everybody has very different interpretations of what is a priority and what needs to be fixed immediately.”

Students have mixed opinions on the recent updates, but one of the main topics is the lack of student input. “I think people aren’t even upset about the carpet, I think they’re upset at the fact that they weren’t communicated with,” Student Body President Kate Johnson (12) said. “There’s a slight disconnect between students and admin.” 

The recent improvements are intended to have an emphasis on celebrating current students as well as supporting future ones. “Student voice is something that there’s always more opportunity to listen to,” Dorsey said. “And so I think if we should consider some other spaces for updating, I think bringing in student voice to that is something that we shouldn’t miss.”

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Kaleb Cervantes, Junior Reporter
Kaleb Cervantes is a sophomore at Manitou Springs High School. Cervantes enjoys playing drums and guitar and loves photography and art. He is eager to graduate and go pursue journalism in college, using this year as a stepping stone towards that career path. Cervantes dislikes mushrooms with a passion. He looks forward to gaining new experience skills from the Prospector.
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  • A

    AnnaJan 23, 2024 at 2:25 pm

    I think that the new changes too our school are good. In the begging I along with many other students thought it made the school less cozy but after having it for a while I like it. I think it makes our school look newer and I think the lighting will be beneficial.

    Reply
  • B

    Bob Jenkins Jr.Jan 22, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    I believe these changes are good and I hope the pictures come back 😀

    Reply
  • B

    BreannaJan 12, 2024 at 9:59 am

    I think the new changes in our school were good. It makes our school look nicer which will make people want to come to Manitou. I know most people have there own opinions on it but i honestly think this change it good. It might also make students want to be at school because it gives us more light and not so dark hallways.

    Reply
  • B

    Barbara NicholsJan 11, 2024 at 6:38 pm

    As a graduate of 1955, and one who attended all 12 grades on Manitou, as did my dad and Aunt (1928 and 1931 Graduates), I am all in favor of the decisions made. I find it important to have current accomplishments showing.

    Reply
  • S

    Sebastian CroverJan 11, 2024 at 2:25 pm

    First of all, most of us students don’t say anything because of the fact that we don’t have anything nice to say about the carpets or the decision of the carpets. also secondly, this definitely helps understanding the whole situation at hand which I hundred percent appreciate.

    Reply