Panther Pause: Library gets overhaul, becomes new media center

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By Jordan Curry

Fairbanks High School (FHS) is undergoing exciting renovations to its media center.
These renovations are taking place to aid the FHS students and staff in creating a more comfortable, spacious and customizable area to collaborate with others and further the learning experience Fairbanks has to offer.
Before the layout was created, the staff thought seeing a renovated media center in real life would help to see what would work for the Fairbanks community. They ventured off to Big Walnut to seek inspiration for the upcoming renovations.
“The renovations will start with new paint and carpet,” FHS principal Tom Montgomery said. “It will include electrical upgrades, new lighting and the removal of the long wall of bookshelves and carts currently in the library. The library will be equipped with new furniture, some of which will be stationary, but the majority of the furniture will be easily movable to create flexibility.”
Throughout the last school year, many teachers said they didn’t have enough space in their classrooms. It would not be possible to fix the spacing issue throughout the school in every classroom, which led to the idea of renovating the media center to give space availability for more lessons and activities.
“When we first started, the initial goal was to be flexible to where everything can be moved to create a comfortable learning environment for the students,” said David Wallace, Fairbanks online learning coach for grades 7-12. “We wanted it to be open so a class or two could come and be able to work comfortably while focusing on collaboration and the student’s needs.”.
With the type of furniture being provided to the students, they will be able to rearrange the furniture to fit their needs, collaborate with others or just simply work on homework.
Many teachers are looking forward to using this new facility for lessons and activities.
“The district is creating a place for collaboration,” AP English teacher Diane Smeenk said. “While it seems like many books are leaving, I believe we are also bringing in newer, high interest novels for students.”
The renovations are to be completed by the beginning of the next school year for all students to access and for teachers to pursue different lessons with the new media center in mind.
Overall, Fairbanks will continue to advance with the student’s best interest in mind.



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