By: Marc Dowd
My first impression of the new NT was more or less the common one among students: “At least it’s better than the old school.” With a price tag of $52 million, I tried to figure out how the new school could have possibly cost so much money to build. It certainly wasn’t because of the classrooms (or should I say prison cells), with their dull cement walls, and purple and green chairs. The courtyard is so small and empty most people don’t even notice it. The auditorium, commons, and the library (which opened about a month into school, I might add) are quite nice, but still things didn’t add up. Finally, I found the gym, and it all made sense.
The new gym, which is actually three attached together, looks gorgeous. It has a functional scoreboard, more basketball nets then I can count using my fingers, and windows along the roof which provide excellent lighting during the day. The hardwood court sparkles so much you can actually see your reflection, and there are comfortable bleachers for students to come and watch games. However, as with all new things, it has its problems as well; the largest being NO AIR CONDITIONING! Considering the rest of the school is air conditioned, I don’t understand why they seemingly just forgot about the gym. $52 million on the rest of the school! Yah air conditioning in the gym would just be extravagant. Someone really dropped the ball there!
Anyways, I’m not going to complain about the few small problems when there is just so much amazing stuff to talk about. Right outside the gym, there is a new weight room which has just received $40 000 in new equipment and will be ready for students to use shortly. There are four change rooms (two for the boys, two for the girls) and all of them have working showers, emphasis on working. How nice is that!
Next September there will be a new turf field where our old school current sits. It will stretch from Roehampton to Broadway, and will only be accessible through the school. A five foot fence will surround it so that strangers cannot walk their dogs on it (like with the old field), and so that students can enjoy the beautiful football, soccer, and field hockey lines which will be painted for home games. It will have actual field goal posts for football, with portable soccer and field hockey nets. Unfortunately, the only thing which was denied during the designing stages was lights for night games (but I think students will live without them). Underneath the field was originally going to be a pool, but there was not enough money for it and thus it was removed from the plans (sorry swimmers).
All in all, the new facilities are fantastic, and we have one person in particular to thank for them: Mr. Smith. He was allowed to sit in on the design team way back in 2004 and give his input on how the new gym department should be built. He got the three gyms and the divider walls that separate them; he got the new weight room; he got the new turf field; he got everything!
“It’s delightful to finally have excellent facilities,” Smith says. “…It’s not perfect, but it’s [still] great.”