By Erica Laidler (Editor-in-Chief).
No more dealing with drippy faucets, awkward glances shared through slits in the stall doors, and grimy paper towel dispensers for Sharon High School students thanks to this past summer’s bathroom renovations.
Building commenced on the bathrooms in the 100’s, 200’s, and 300’s hallways shortly after the graduating class of 2016 decided to bestow the last of their $17,000 in funds to the project, a contribution soon boosted by the PTSO’s donation of $26,000.
Improvements include the implementation of an entrance door, new stall walls and doors, working locks, privacy panels, and a full length mirror, as well as new automated sinks, soap dispensers, air fresheners, and hand dryers.
“I really like the rubber lining on the door,” said junior Alissa Chen. “Before you couldn’t even lock [the door] properly and now it’s more private.”
SHS principal Dr. Libano says bathroom renovations have long been on the radar, partly due to students in Ms. Dennis’ public speaking class who have been raising concerns about the old ones for years. “Everything – from the privacy locks on the doors to the hand dryers – came from what kids in public speaking were saying, what parents and students were saying,” said Libano.
“I was very appreciative to the two groups for donating what they’d raised to the student body,” added Libano.
“Sometimes you can’t act on things until there are available funds, but everything came together to make it happen this summer.”
Junior Anna Kerber has nothing but praise for the new bathrooms – “honestly, everything is great,” she said.
“The doors in the front make you feel like you’re in a kitchen, which is always a good thing,” added Kerber. “And the full length mirror is just the bomb.”
Senior Tyra Strong says she is also “really liking the mirrors.”
“I know some girls have to look at themselves every second of their lives, so mirrors are good. Plus [it ensures] that you don’t walk out of there with toilet paper on your shoe or something,” said Strong.
Tony Shen, a senior at Sharon High School, says he is impressed with the quality of the new bathrooms, but would add more stalls in order to deal with a shortage made obvious after school and before sports’ practices.
He added that the sinks are much improved, however: “only about half the time they worked [before].”
Sophomore Sophie Lisle says she appreciates the bathroom’s more environmentally friendly design. “I like the new hand dryers because I think it’s nice to conserve trees and that’s a very easy way to go about it…and it’s more sanitary, quick and easy,” said Lisle.
Strong says the also finds the dryers a nice touch. “[The old ones] always had to be filled and now there’s so much less waste in the world,” she said.
Junior Jackson Fawcett says he likes how everything is no-touch in the new bathrooms. “The no-touch soap, sink, and hand dryer system makes for a more sanitary experience. The [old,] crusty, and…stained bathrooms were very unsanitary and I felt grossed out every time I used them,” said Fawcett.
Dr. Libano says he found it disconcerting to hear that students had been unwilling to use the bathrooms before the renovations, as this meant the situation was interfering with well-being and learning. “When I think of changes at SHS – when I think of Eagle Block and late starts – I think the new bathrooms are as big of a deal,” said Libano.
Lisle says that the while she knew renovations were to be made to a few bathrooms by the end of last school year, the extent of these improvements was a “nice surprise.”
“Everything matters – it’s nice, new, and clean, and it works,” she said.