Students in Antonio Mercado’s leadership class at North Salem High School met last week with architects from BRIC Architecture, Inc. to share their views of what makes North a special place.

This conversation and others held earlier with school staff are part of the design development phase for renovations planned at North Salem under the 2018 bond program. Bond renovations at North call for the demolition and replacement of the main gym, locker rooms and most other indoor athletic facilities, as well as the addition of 20 new classrooms, two career-technical education spaces, a satellite commons and much more.

One goal of the design process is to make sure the new spaces respect North’s unique culture, history and architecture. The students’ input will help architects come up with ways to blend the new construction with the existing building.

Architects asked students to share photos of their favorite spaces at North, such as special or historical items and building features. Students shared pictures of banners, trophies, flags and artwork found inside the school. They talked about the different versions of the Viking logo found in the building; The logo has seen a number of revisions over the school’s more than 80-year history.

While students identified several physical features they appreciate about their school, the class agreed that the major contributor to North’s school spirit is not a logo, trophy or banner – it’s the student and staff community that makes North a special place to be.

In addition to North, four other schools are scheduled for the first phase of the 2018 bond program: Gubser Elementary School, Judson Middle School, Waldo Middle School and McNary High School. Each school has a design team made up of teachers and school administration who have met with architects and the district bond program management team to create plans for renovations at their school. Architects drawing plans for McNary High School also met with students for input on new spaces at the school.

School design teams will be an important resource during construction. Each of the first five schools will be under construction for all or part of the 2019-20 school year. Design teams will work with district bond program management staff to help schools temporarily adapt to the challenges of operating school on an active construction site.

All schools in the district will see some improvement under the 2018 bond program. All bond projects are planned to be finished within five years.

For more information on work planned at schools in the 2018 bond program, please visit the bond information website.