Thomas Steiner Technology Center

From listening to people talk at school registration, it became obvious that a lot of changes are being made throughout West this year. Some of these are new locker arrangements, new homerooms, and of course, a new principal. One new addition that not everyone may know much about is the Thomas Steiner Technology Center recently finished in the library.

According to Frank Calarco, West principal, this was originally “the vision of Mr. Steiner” – West’s former principal who passed away in 2006. It had first been planned to be built outside of the Trojan room surrounded by all glass, however, the additional room found in the spacious library was a better-fitting location for its size. After Principal Steiner’s death, his family took it upon themselves to continue his dream for a school which, according to his brother Bob Steiner, “he loved dearly”. Although most students now probably never knew Principal Steiner, he was a man who was “all about education” – even taking the time to know every student’s name.
Construction of the center is complete, and will be furnished with 30 new laptop computers, 90 chairs, 12 tables, a Smart Board, and a sound system. There is a room in the back of the center where textbooks and laptops will be held. “Webcams are a possibility for the future as well, enabling students to communicate with others and possibly even do activities with Wauwatosa East,” said Calarco.
Librarian Jeanine Brennan was a major part of planning the center. “The lighting can go on in different stages for presentations, and the tables will be able to fold up for different purposes,” said Brennan. “This room is meant [to be] a multi-purpose room.” Accommodating approximately 75 people, its uses will include a place for student research, presentations by teachers and others, student speeches, and possible district and other community meetings.
Of course, a project with a size of this magnitude is costly. Funds were raised for the $120,000 project though money collected by vending machines as well as two 3K walk/runs held on location at West. At the walk/runs, people were able to gather together, eat, listen to the band, and support a great cause. Mrs. Belich’s art class had a competition to design t-shirts, with the winning design having the words “Trek for Tech”. Homerooms had incentives like pizza parties to raise the most pledge money.
Though the original location of the room has changed, the purpose of Mr. Steiner’s vision remains the same: to enrich student learning here at Tosa West. This resource for faculty and students will create new opportunities for everyone in the community. With new technology changing society every day, it is important for students to have the resources to continue their academic careers.