Morton West Freshman Academy

Izabela Rivera, Reporter

This is Mustang Dr. before the groundbreaking construction.

The Morton West Freshman Academy has opened for the 2019/2020 school year.  Dr. Joshua McMahon, Morton West Principal said, the construction was started in the spring of 2018 due to Morton West High School being “overcrowded” and the new building created a more “safe and secure campus”. The Freshman Academy building is currently housing  900 freshman students, there are 40 new classrooms, a new cafeteria with an updated library. McMahon mentioned the new building is for the freshman to call “their own” and have a more modern “21st  Century learning area”. McMahon said the construction project was a difficult process because of worrying that the building wouldn’t make the students feel “more at home, happy and safe”. He also hoped everything would go well as it could, with it being a stressful process.

But it came as no surprise that the Morton Freshman Academy was a huge success not only to faculty and administration but for students as well. Dr. McMahon said “getting to the point where we’re seeing how it actually works, there is less pressure on students to get to class on time and a more relaxed atmosphere

The FGM architects academy layout

and now we’re 4 weeks in and in my 11 years here it’s been the best start I’ve ever had of the school”. Although the first opening month was successful there is still high traffic in the athletic wing but will be resolved soon .”

This is the finished main entrance

These issues will get resolved “hopefully by December 2019″ said McMahon. Mr. Timothy Brodeur, Freshman Academy Assistant Principal said, “The rest of the building is more open, it was really really crowded the last couple of years so it’s a lot less crowded now. I’m really excited because my hope was that it’ll allow us to do a better job at assisting Freshman.”   Brodeur feels more “connected” with this year’s Freshman class compared to the past years. The new building design comes with carpet which Brodeur said makes him “nervous” keeping it clean but believes our “maintenance staff does a really nice job and the kids are really respectful towards it and it makes the hallways quieter”.

And as for how the Freshman feel many would say that they feel more connected with their classes and how they feel more engaged. Freshman Dannah Monteroso said her favorite part is “it’s big, nice and comfortable”. The students should feel safer with their own age group while getting used to a bigger environment and more students to be aware of in the upcoming years. Another Freshman, Emma Morrisette, likes the new building mentioning that when she goes to her Health class in the old building she “dislikes” how crowded the hallway does get and when other students become ”defensive” and ”rude” when there is pushing and shoving trying to pass through. Freshman Alma Silva said because classes are so much closer and having a 5 minute passing period allows them to “chill and hang” longer with friends. Timothy Brodeur said, students in past years were separated into teams but most students did not realize this because our classes were “everywhere”.  This year freshman’s teachers are “closer to one another to help support each of their freshman students” Brodeur added. Brodeur mentioned he expects the Freshman to become leaders within their own space to help them transition into being “active members for the upcoming school years”.