Those who have not visited McNicholas recently may be startled to walk through its front doors. The lobby has undergone recent remodeling and now contains high top tables and chairs as well as cushioned chairs for students and teachers.
Fine Arts Department Chair Mel Gaskins, who helped the Lobby Planning Committee with furnishings, cited the inspiration for the new lobby design. “If you visit a college campus now, they have welcome centers that double as study lounges. We wanted the lobby to be a place where students could meet and greet,” Gaskins said. “Newer schools are set up like this, and we won’t be getting a new building anytime soon, so this was an opportunity to implement that.”
Gaskins hopes that students enjoy the contemporary feel the lobby offers, as well as the additional outlets to accommodate the Tablet PC Program. However, some might notice a piece that was central to the previous lobby is lacking. The trophy cases which once were a main feature have been condensed, leaving less room to display trophies.
“We still have five separate cases like before, but they’re stacked on top of each other. The square footage is still the same, but the dimensions are different,” Gaskins said.
With this in mind, one might wonder where the trophies that didn’t fit in the new cases have been relocated to. “The trophies are currently in the storage area behind the girls’ locker room in the main gym,” Director of Athletics Susan Rohlfs said. “The room is full, and there are about four or five deep shelves that are filled with trophies and awards. The most current awards as well as the state trophies are in the cases right now, and our plan is to rotate them throughout the year.”
Gaskins believes that this new setup will draw more attention to the trophies that are on display. “A few of the awards in the previous cases were pretty old, with some dating back to the 1940s,” Gaskins said. “The new trophy cases allow us to feature more current and relevant trophies and awards.”
This may be the case, but some worry that visitors will not have the opportunity to see the all of the accomplishments of the McNicholas athletic department. Perhaps a solution to this would be to add glass encased shelves throughout the lobby and main hallway to increase the number of trophies displayed. This would not take away any space from the furniture that is already in place and may add another dimension to the living room vibe the lobby has, as the shelves could act as a mantle.
On the other hand, one may argue that the banners in the gym are a sufficient source of displaying the feats McNicholas athletes attain each year. Regardless of one’s opinion, there is no argument that the athletic department has many noteworthy accomplishments, and the new lobby design is up-to-date with modern school developments and accommodates the growing need for power sources. The current lobby is a synthesis of the resources McNicholas students need and the pride they feel for their various departments.