Driven adversity

An update and explanation on the main entrance repairs

Kierigan McEvoy

More stories from Kierigan McEvoy

Empowering Others
May 22, 2020

The mural of the Spartan on the front entrance to the school.

A lot goes into planning a school year. Scheduling, preparing, and conducting meetings. Meetings galore. Meetings about schedules, meetings about new classes, meetings about paying hall monitors, meetings about new school lunches, meetings about the construction of a new weight room. 

 Meetings about repairing the main entrance after the accident last April is never on any principals planned to-do list. Starting off the year without the normality of a functional main entrance can put quite a dent, so to speak, at the beginning of a school year. Principal Sonny Arnel has had to bear the weight of regular school year planning accompanied by the somewhat frustrating process the door repairs have been. 

“I just don’t like the appearance it gives. And so for scheduled pick up we were still able to use the front entrance, but it’s just not the best first impression,” Dr. Arnel said. 

While appearance is lacking, the main entrance has been able to maintain the majority of its functionality, just with slight changes. 

“Obviously, we have to have a guard man the door because normally we have the buzzing system. So that’s different … but functionally, we’re still able to maintain some of our same practices,” Dr. Arnel explained. 

The mid-construction appearance and need for an extra guard are both due to that fact that the new doors were not, and are still not ready to be installed. Matthew Gober, the contact for the Facilities and Operation Services Department, explains the doors are not just cookie-cutter, assembly-line products.

“The vestibule is a custom-order space, which means the doors, windows, and supports are all custom-order. They are manufactured to our space, which explains the significant delay,” Mr. Gober said. 

According to Kevin Supple, head of finances for the district, the repair order was placed in a timely manner.

“The company that supplies the doors and storefront was on-site the day of the accident. The order was placed on the day of the accident,” Mr. Supple said. 

Due to an insurance claim, there is no budget for repairs, Mr. Supple explained. The overall repair cost is estimated to be $120,000-$130,000. 

“We have to overcome that so those main driving forces aren’t interrupted.” ”

— Dr. Arnel

The arrival of the doors should be in the next two weeks, before the end of August. But, of course, there are still more complications. 

“Now we have to wait for the fire marshal to approve because they’ll have to shut down the whole entrance. We’d have to move the main entrance to the theater like we did initially for dismissal and everything, but [the fire marshal] may not let us do that,” Dr. Arnel said. 

The repairs will take about four days, so closing down the main entrance completely may not be an option due to safety purposes. If that is the case, then repairs on the doors would have to wait until fall break. Yet, if the all-clear is given the doors potentially can be installed in two to three weeks. 

Overall, this difficult and unforeseen incident has made the school get off on a different foot than usual, but that has not dampened the spirits of FHC. 

“Our biggest difficulty has been waiting for the material to arrive. Dr. Arnel and his staff have been extremely cooperative and willing to roll with the punches with this major disturbance,” Gober remarked. 

Adversity has been driven, literally, into our school. But, Dr. Arnel believes the school has overcome that adversity by remembering who we are as a school and a community. 

“Our bottom line of what we do here is try to provide a great environment for kids to grow socially, and emotionally, of course, and then they grow academically and athletically. So that has to be the primary drive in everything we do. So, whatever the problem is, if it’s the doors or the power going out, or books not being arrived on time, we have to overcome that so those main driving forces aren’t interrupted,” Dr. Arnel smiling.