In winter, the SIS leadership team introduced comprehensive facility renewals in the HS and MS buildings, including new water purifiers and air purifiers. The new improvements came on the heels of a microparticle emergency that covered South Korea in March, during which the National Assembly declared that microparticles are a “social disaster” and enacted emergency measures that enabled the allocation of government reserve funds to combat air pollution.
“It is important to us that our students and staff are in a healthy environment,” said Michael Colaianni, acting head of school. “To this end, we have installed air purifiers in every hallway and classroom. As for the water purifiers, we decided to not put cups out because we want students to bring their own reusable bottles. In the past, we have asked the cafeteria not to serve plastic water bottles anymore. That is the direction the school is heading toward: trying to make the students and everybody in our community more environmentally aware.”
The improvements are part of a series of projects by the leadership team so as to improve the overall student experience. Over the winter break, the HS building saw the addition of a new dance studio, which will be the meeting spot for the D$Q Dance Club as well as the new Fitness Club starting next year. Furthermore, the wooden benches in the hallways and study lounges of the HS building were replaced with new furniture, such as colorful sofas, tables, and chairs.
“We really appreciate the new fitness room,” said Andy Cho (10), Fitness Club president. “The old fitness room was not really ideal for club meetings due to not only its proximity from the HS building but also its poor ventilation thanks to the fact that it is located in the basement floor. Also, it is always nice to have state of the art equipment: I especially love the treadmills. I always felt as though the old storage room was a waste of space, and I am glad that the leadership team found a good use for it by converting it into a fitness room.”
The leadership team has many more plans in store for renovating school facilities over the summer break. Marc Montague, AP Computer Science teacher, is designing a new school website in collaboration with the IT office in order to give it a more modern look. The leadership team is planning to renovate the atrium so as to improve its acoustics, thereby making it more ideal for musical performances. All the restrooms will be refurnished with new toilets, sinks, urinals, walls, and stalls, and the hallways and classrooms will be repainted by professional interior designers. There are even talks about erecting a dome over the soccer field, which would enable varsity teams to hold practices on days during which microparticles reach critical levels.
“The new facilities are a much-welcomed change,” said Paul Kim (11). “I am a bit of a germaphobe, and I hated drinking from the old water fountains because they were downright nasty. Also, it is nice to know that the leadership team really cares about our wellbeing and is taking proactive measures against microparticles. I am so excited to see what they plan for the future and am upset knowing I only have one year to enjoy these new facilities.”