Improvements in B-building’s future?

Susie DeRoss, Editor-in-Chief

The B-building is one of the oldest buildings at Joliet West.  The high school originally opened in 1964 with buildings A, B, C, and D, and since then there have major improvements and additions.  Buildings E, G, and H, along with the cafeteria and field house, are the newest and most modern looking places in the school.  Both students and teachers have been wondering whether the older building especially, the B-building will ever be updated or renovated to match the newer ones.

What many people don’t realize is that the school is making major improvements every year.  Almost all of the ceilings and lights have been replaced in the older classrooms; West is making enhancements as often as the maintenance budget allows.  The newer buildings are all equipped with dry-erase boards while the older rooms still have chalkboards.  Making upgrades for the older rooms depends on how much money is left in the budget, though.

Many things like the chalkboards and desks are “cosmetic” factors, Dr. Gibson explained.  The school is actually trying to replace at least one classroom set of desks each year, which can actually become quite costly.  The worst desks are usually disposed of and because of this and the school’s population growth there are no extra desks to be found in storage.  It’s not that the school is ignoring these issues, it’s that it all comes down to how much money there is set aside for classroom enhancements.

There is money that the district provides for building repairs and updates that is to be split between Joliet Central and Joliet West.  Right now, Central is receiving more of that money because they have an older building that needs major work in some areas.  A couple of the projects include providing lighting and plumbing for their football field and improving their special education amenities.

It’s not uncommon to hear complaints about how out-of-date the older buildings are.  The improvements are a work in progress.  When it comes to gaining the extra money, our needs are not as severe as Joliet Central’s.  Most of the desks, chalkboards, and technology that West has now are still fully functional.  There are no major improvements scheduled in West’s future, but small changes are constantly made as they become possible.