Welcome to The Stephens Family Building 200

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Welcome to The Stephens Family Building 200

Claire Mulcahy, Reporter

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The wait is finally over; on January 7, 2015 the Stephens Family Building 200 was opened for business. After a long semester of waiting, teachers and students finally got access to the Stephens building, which has been under construction since June 1, 2014.

On the first day of classes this semester, six teachers got a new home. Spanish teacher Caroline Murray and English teacher Andrea Cartwright were among the six to finally have a permanent place to set up shop.

Both teachers are very excited to finally have their own classroom. “It makes me feel like a teacher and it’s nice to know that all my stuff is in the place that I teach,” Murray said. Like many of Presentation’s “homeless” teachers, Murray had been carting her things from room to room with a bulky cart, so not having to do so was a relief.

Along with their own room, they also get free range of what they want to do with the layout, something that can be tricky when you’re a visitor to another teacher’s space. “I have different arrangements for the students,” said Cartwright. “I have a song that I play when they have to go into their home position, partner positions, test position, and circle discussions.”

As of now, the only complaints that these teachers have is that they don’t have any furniture in their rooms–like shelves and cabinets–so they have a lot of empty space, but they’re confident that when they get their furniture and fill their classrooms the way they want to, they’ll feel like the long awaited classroom.

The students love the room just as much as the teachers do, but for different reasons. “I love the chairs in the new building,” said junior Emily Carollo. These new chairs roll around with ease, have a bottom cubby for backpacks so nothing gets left behind when rolling around, a cup holder, and an iPad stand/pencil holder. And they weren’t cheap–each chair cost $343.

Freshman Gina Saglimbeni says “The chairs are amazing. They are colorful and spinny and so much fun. I love being able to move them easily and spin around.”

Although the big talk around campus is all about the chairs and how great they are, there are other things that students have commented on. Carollo says, “I think it was a great addition to Presentation because it gives us more space.” Saglimbeni agrees, “Hopefully the school will be able to provide more classes at the same time.”

The only complaints coming from students at this point is the traffic problem. “With these stairs, it takes forever [to get to and from class]. It takes at least two extra minutes to get down and out the building” says Saglimbeni.

According to Principal Mary Miller, the building itself was finished early and under budget. “There is nothing sweeter than that,” she said. There are still a few minor touches that need to be added, such as a few permanent signs and the addition of the classroom furniture, but overall the building is basically done.

A challenge that the building presented was that for almost six months the dance program was moved to the Center, which made the lunch line more challenging, the athletic department occupied the back of the chapel, and athletic equipment and locker rooms were moved to portable storage units or even off campus.

Despite the difficulties, almost everything was installed and done by the first day of school for the second semester, except for some of the tech components. “We lived on the unplugged island of the 200 building for a week,” says Miller.

The most exciting part about the building opening was all the hubbub. “The first day of school in January was very sweet,” says Miller. “There was such a buzz of excitement in students upon finding they had a class in the new building. It was a great way to begin the semester.”