The Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board met in the middle school library Sept. 19 to discuss the proposed changes to the high school.
The Facilities Committee hopes to add a second floor in the space above the current weight room to fit a robotics lab, transform the weight room into a cross-training fitness center, and add a field. These changes aim to encourage the creation of STEM groups and improve athletics and student life. “The plan is a great improvement over what we currently have and will be a positive change,” said Holly Babcock, a member of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Board.
Many are pushing for these much-needed updates. The suggestions have the support of many parents, staff, students, and community members. At the Facilities Committee’s first meeting, students like Julia Pepin ‘19 voiced their opinion. Pepin, a member of both the crew team and the robotics team, told of how these changes would impact both organizations.
The current fields are in poor condition from overuse, and there is not enough space for all the teams. This leads to injuries and practices that go late at night. Many professional, collegiate, and high school-level athletic programs practice and play on a synthetic field. “I think it’s undeniable that a sport like field hockey would be played at a higher level on a synthetic field,” stated Jennifer MacLeod, HBHS Varsity Field Hockey coach.
A meeting was held at the high school on Oct. 23 to discuss the proposed changes. “It’s really to seek input and show all the options, so I would encourage [students] to attend that,” said Rick Barnes, principal of HBHS. He went on to urge students to “get involved one way or the other; whether you’re for it or have questions about it, I think the more students get involved with this…the better the process will be.”