Constructing Achievement; New Construction at East


The new window wall went up recently on the pool. Photo via @NickHughesTE on Twitter.

Maeve Kaufman

Recently, since the start of quarantine and schools shutting down in mid March, Tosa East has been undergoing its own set of changes. Many areas of the school have been shut down or blocked off due to construction on new areas of the building. One of the newest additions to the school has been the new art studio in the art hallway next to the theater. The brand new art studio had been under works for a bit and opened just on time for students to use after coming back for the new school year. The art studio has a brand new, modern look to its windows looking out on the courtyard, high and well lit ceilings and light fixtures and lots of space for creativity to thrive. 

Mr. Smessaert, an art teacher at Tosa East, comments on the new space: “I like new things. It’s fresh and clean and it has lots of really nice qualities: nice windows and lighting, hanging cords, high ceilings, nice storage, and a spray room. I like the general tone of the space.” However, he says he wishes there was a bit more space in the classroom. The brand new art studio, although pristine and modern, doesn’t have as much space as the previous art room he taught in and he misses the space. With large classes, it may be a bit of a squeeze to fit over 25 students in at one time. The art studio has proven itself to be a delightful new space for students to practice and create artwork during the day. 

Not only have the art rooms been under construction, but the school has been building a new pool for the swim and dive teams and the community at Tosa East. The pool has been under construction for a few months now and has proved it’s amount of challenges for the swim team, teachers and students. The pool, locker room and sports lockers have been under construction, meaning the entire area is blocked off the students. It has proven to be a challenge for many people to adapt, especially the Tosa East Girls Swim Team. Coach Russell Weigel has said that it’s been a challenge and inconvenience to find places to swim and practice during the season. The team found themselves in many different locations over the season like Longfellow Middle School, Whitman Middle School and Tosa West. Although it’s been a challenge for the swim team, they managed to not let it affect their game this year.

The school has been filled with noises of construction, especially within the social studies wing of the school, as construction makes way directly underneath the classrooms. Although the noises can be heard at all different times of the day, it’s worth the small distraction and disruption for the new pool, locker rooms and lockers along the hallway of the east entrance of the school. The school is very grateful for the donation of 6.7 million dollars donated by Morgridges in order for the school to have better facilities to support its students and staff learning and activities. When construction finished up, the school will have a great amount of new additions to showcase that enhance the learning experience and can hopefully bring an element of a clean slate during this time in particular. The new spaces within the school are opening the door to new learning opportunities, teamwork and individual growth now and in the future.