Another New Addition: The Morton West Library

Jasmine Reyes, Reporter

An old but yet new addition to Morton West High School, out with the library and in with the new ‘Knowledge Center’. The construction process took three months as the grand opening took place on September 4th,2019. The library renovation benefits both students and the staff in positive ways.

Dr. Joshua McMahon, Principal of Morton West High School, thought it would be a nice touch if the students and staff got a new library to go along with the new freshmen center. The library renovation was needed for many reasons.” I think you can probably ask all current students and former students, the library was a bit outdated. It was small. It wasn’t that inviting collaborative space that would allow students to have areas to work whether it’s by themselves or with groups. And for them to be able to use the technology we want students to be able to use,” Dr. McMahon said. The new features that are included in the library are new study rooms where students have a quiet environment to study during their lunch periods or for them to get work done overall. Next new printing stations for students who don’t have printers at home. There are also areas where students can relax and talk quietly amongst their friends. along with computer areas with new Mac computers and even a classroom that teachers can ‘rent’ for the day.

The library also provides an area for TSI classes, where students can both learn and work on computers. “I just think just having a space where TSI can work and have open access to all of our students, especially the silver roll up gate that allows access to M hall. And you know just that area where students can come in and work if they need too, but then also have an open workspace and being able to see their computers being worked on for kids to see what’s taking place and to be able to gain interest for that class also.” Dr. McMahon said.

New library renovation, while students enjoy.

The library became a new commonplace for everyone and everything. Sergio Sandoval, ’20 said “It’s easier to talk to customers and a faster pace to get everyone in and out of the room because before in the small room we had no space and it would get crowded. So it’s just easier they made it here.” Along with the new renovation,  McMahon indicated there many opportunities for growth that students can take advantage of, the open and collaborative space, workrooms for our students to be able to use, and we have four workrooms. A maker space where kids can really explore and use different tools whether its printers, engravers, robots, sewing machines, legos. mega tricks. There are lots of opportunities for kids to be able to create, and have opportunities to use their minds and play. So many times we forget how to play and have fun in high school, I want kids to be able to do that.  The look of the library also gives a welcome clean feeling, as soon as you walk through the doors you are automatically in awe not knowing where to go or what to look at first.

Amanda Suvetor, ’21 said “It’s a very modern open space, it holds a lot of knowledge for books and computers. It is easier access for everyone and everything including staff.”  Ms. Sonia Ocasio, Head Librarian said, “The kids will have more accessibility to technology when we get a lot of the equipment in, we’re still again making changes. It’s a beautiful space, there’s a lot of room, there is room for students to study, more availability for a quiet space to study if your working in a group for a class. We can have teaches send up to 5 students at a time to work together in a group.”  Although the downside to being a large area,  students try to overuse the library by trying to ditch classes. 

Before the library renovation (Photo provided by Mr.Joshua McMahon)

Priscilla Berry, Librarian said, “It’s really nice and big, there are a lot of hiding spaces. A lot of kids are trying to cut and not go to class so it’s a little harder, there are only four of us and three (librarians)  during lunchtime, it’s a little harder to manage, it’s bigger. Just trying to make kids to do the right thing and stuff. I love my job, I love the students, I work here because of the students. I’m happy you have this new space.” The library will be a set place for a while after this renovation, “ I don’t think we’re really going to change much anymore with the library, I think the library is a pretty good space, I think we’re still trying to figure out how to use it a little bit. I don’t think were going to do any more renovations to the library in the near future.” Joshua McMahon, Principal. The ‘Knowledge Center’ will be a wonderful resource for students for years to come. The old library held many memories and meaning, it held a good amount of students and staff. But the library was well-needed space to help make the Morton Mustangs more of a family.