Media Center gets a welcoming makeover


Jenna Coladarci

Sophomores Lauren Ifkovits and Lauren Pudelka work in the renovated Media Center after school.

Jenna Coladarci, Correspondent

When students and staff walk into the Media Center, they are greeted by lovely classical music, cool air, and this hashtag: “#Respect the Rug!”
That’s because that rug is actually $45,000 worth of wall-to-wall carpeting installed over the summer, replacing the worn drink- and food-stained carpet that had given service to the library since 2001.
“The renovations elevate how people think of the Media Center,” said media specialist Elaine Gencarelli. “It looks nicer. Many people have commented about how beautiful it is. It gives people a good attitude when they walk inside.”
The state paid for the carpeting, and the district spent $10,000 on new chairs to replace the array of seating styles that the media specialists had gathered over the years. What has remained are the sturdy wooden circular tables that are still in good shape.
With the renovations come new rules. The only drink allowed in is water, which can be easily cleaned up. Teachers and students with cups of coffee have been seen finishing them up in the hallway before entering. Eating snacks and lunch in the library is out, and the media specialists are watching.
Despite the rules, students say they appreciate the new look.
“The new rugs and chairs make the Media Center more fun to be in,” said sophomore Lauren Pudelka.
Her friend, sophomore Lauren Ifkovits, added, “It’s nicer to study in after school.”
The blue-gray carpet and the blue chairs complement each other nicely, and Gencarelli, along with colleagues Traci Cook and Mike McNiff, spent the week before school opened, and a few days into the new year, putting the library back together again.
All would have been for naught had it not been for custodian Billie Anderson and his crew, who stepped in to move out all of the furniture, technology, bookcases and books to allow for the carpet installation.
When the state and district learned what it would cost for professional movers to do the job — about $14,000 — the rug renovation was nearly pulled out from under the librarians. Cook says Anderson and team, however, came to the rescue and did the work, including putting all of the stuff back.
“We really appreciate their help,” Cook said. McNiff added that “we would like to thank the district for recognizing the importance of the Media Center.”
The media specialists and student aides have since busily reshelved the library’s extensive catalog of books.
In addition to the renovations, other changes have been made. The two copiers are now side-by-side to help accommodate students’ printing needs. Students may also print their work in the Tutoring Center and the Career Center.
The Maker Space — where students can play critical-thinking games — is in the same spot. The school’s 3-D printer will soon be hooked up for use.
In addition to the two computer labs at either end of the library, a computer station has been set up in front of the media specialists’ offices. Throughout the library are tall tables and high stools, like you would see in a coffee house, but without the coffee.
The tech room still holds the Macs and can be used as a class lab. The one-time multi-media room that was full of DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes is now used for DVD storage, staff professional development, and as a meeting space.