What Happened First: Man on the Moon, or the Building of Knoch?

Caroline Ejzak, News Editor

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Have you noticed the change of color in certain floor tiles? How about the several fresh paint jobs? And who can overlook the brand new LLC? All these changes make people question why there are rumors of a possible new school building in play.

This school was built around the 1960’s, it has seen: leg warmers, shoulder pads, scrunchies, bell bottoms, and then scrunchies again.

A few students have been in this school long enough to remember the middle school before the sweet new gym floor boards were put in, or before the high school library had stickers on the windows and a hecking coffee shop. If all these improvements are being done to this school, these students have to be wondering,

“Why would we call it quits on this building to build a new one now?”

I am especially perplexed by these rumored plans. As exciting as it would be, I would be graduating well before any new building is made. For the sake of mythbusting, I have asked some individuals of higher authority who know much more about the topic than me.

My first source of information is our principal, Mr. Trofimuk. When I asked about the possible new building, he continually compared the reconstruction of our current building to building a completely new school.

As for the recent updates in our school such as the change in floor tiles, the purpose behind that is to make this building as cheery as possible for a small price. These are minor adjustments, compared to what Mr. Trofimuk claimed, we, as a district, need to adapt to. The reality is: the majority of this building is from 1957, and the methods of education were vastly different back then. Modern technology is more difficult to implement into a school that has been around since before man landed on the moon.

Our superintendent, Dr. Foley, has a bigger role in the renovation decision making. He brought up problems that we, the students and faculty of Knoch High School, are all aware of. The age of the building, the heating and cooling system is kaputt, the roof in the auditorium is deteriorating, and let us not forget: the mold.

Dr. Foley mentioned something that I have never heard before called a demographic study.

“We have hired architects to do a demographic study to evaluate how many students are in the district and analyze the districts family population. They will also be telling us how many might be moving here in the future,” Dr. Foley said.

An exciting part of this idea of a new building is that the architects are offering opportunities for students. They could work on projects regarding the construction process.

Something that would absolutely be taken into account are teacher and student requests. Realistically, we can’t please everyone, but opening the opportunity for requests will better our education process.

Time to talk numbers. As an estimated cost, renovating this school would be around $40-50 million. Steep right? Well that is compared to the $70 million that a brand new facility will cost. For me, money stresses me out, so I am very glad I do not have to make this decision. I respect the board very much for doing all that thinking for us.

I also wanted to get some teacher’s opinion on the idea of a new “Taj Mahal.” Mr. King, a graduate and teacher of Knoch, has an attachment to this building from all the time he’s spent here.

King informed me that in 1996 our school had additions like the “O” wing and turning the gym into a library. He believes things weren’t well thought out enough when the renovations were made and corners were cut to save money.

It is no doubt that Knoch is in competition with neighboring school districts, especially financially. The fact is: an acre of land is way more valuable in tax dollars if it has a Target on it rather than an empty farm. Because of this, the thought of a new school building rises suspicion in this faculty member,

“I think people (tax payers) would lose their minds,” said King.

Another sad reality is that we aren’t a blossoming exciting new place for families to inhabit like Cranberry. Speaking of Cranberry, have you seen the houses in that area? They’re ginormous, and some of that area is, unfortunately, Mars. So it’s not our fault that we can’t readily build a new school at the snap of a finger.

“People move here for lower taxes, so the idea of a new building is improbable,” said King.

I hope this shed some light on this cloudy, mysterious subject, but, as our principal said,

“This concept (new building) has been looming for years, and something needs to be done.”

About the Writer
Caroline Ejzak, News Editor

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My name's Caroline and I love a lot of things. I love the color lavender, baking, coffee, and tennis. One of my favorite things ever is asking...

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What Happened First: Man on the Moon, or the Building of Knoch?