Without a doubt, The Gregory School campus is beautiful—probably the most beautiful high school campus in Arizona.
Our trees, grass, open areas, and beautiful mountain views make students forget that they are in a desert at all. However, sometimes, most students seem to think that the maintenance of this school could be improved.
I miss the trees so much … They were so nice and now they’re gone.
— Carly Caylor, TGS Junior
Both the girls’ and boys’ bathrooms are not properly kept. In the boys’ bathroom, there is a lingering smell and the urinals are lined up, and do not have dividers between them, preventing the students from having any privacy.
The only men’s room with dividers is by the theater and has been closed by the administration. The sinks in the boys’ bathrooms either barely dispense any water, or soak the students.
“I wish they kept the theater bathrooms open,” senior Sebastian Nee said. “It’s the only bathroom where the water actually works properly.”
In addition to the poorly maintained bathrooms, the water fountains are usually lacking water. Students are not able to fill their bottles using the water fountains, because they only occasionally dispense water.
While the water fountains in the gym and cafeteria that were donated by the Berman family several years ago are functioning, the majority of the campus water fountains are useless.
While the school probably spends a fortune on gardening and maintenance, the school’s grass seems muddy and poorly kept, even though there are always landscapers on campus.
Maybe I’m just spoiled from growing up in South Florida, but the grass on campus looks more brown than green, and whenever I walk on it, I almost trip on holes and my feet get muddy.
My favorite part of our campus was all the trees near the junior and senior areas. It made the campus seem it was in a lush area somewhere on the East Coast, rather than in Arizona.
However, recently, I came to school to see these beautiful trees cut, with just barren trunks left in their places.
All the vegetation around the pond, known as the Riparian Area, seemed to fill up the campus in a nice way, but they were cut down too.
“I miss the trees so much,” said junior Carly Caylor. “They were so nice and now they’re gone”.
In a recent interview Head of School, Dr. Julie Sherrill spoke about how improving the school’s facilities is very important to her.
“The beauty of the reaccreditation visit was that we were given some very important feedback,” she said. “They told us that it was important for us to have a long term plan for campus repair in case we have to deal with physical issues in the future. As of now, there are some classrooms that need new carpeting and fresh coats of paint. I plan to write a grant request to find donors to donate the money for such improvements, like I did last year when we repainted the campus. We will hopefully know in the next month or so if that has been approved.”
Sherrill spoke about how when the new Director of Finance and Operations, Mr. Myrl Haskell, comes in to place, one of his priorities is to set money apart for improvements.
“He previously worked in a boarding school in Virginia, so he has a lot of experience working with the upkeep of facilities. Because of this, he will be taking the lead on improving aspects of the campus.”
“We will be embarking on a master plan in order to update and improve our facilities, so that five to ten years down the line, we won’t have even more issues with outdated classrooms.
We will become more mindful, so that in two years, four years, and six years, we will know exactly what improvements and updates need to be made,” Sherrill said.
In my opinion, Sherrill is doing her best trying to revamp certain parts of the campus that seem to have been neglected before her arrival here.
In her first year here, she updated the carpeting in several areas, such as the theater and has gotten the whole campus repainted.
Sherrill, during her interview, was very receptive and responsive to all the issues.
For example, she was unaware that the mens’ bathrooms lacked dividers between the urinals, but when she found out, she said that she was immediately going to work on improving that. “Everybody deserves a little privacy,” Sherrill said.
All in all, I still think that this school has one of the nicest campuses I have ever seen. However, they need to work on maintaining some simple aspects, and I think that slowly, the majority of the required improvements will be made.
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