The comeback: HHS room changes and renovations


Laura Schnitzler, Emma Healey, and Piper Carmack

Top: HHS library before the 1962 fire. Below: The HHS library currently in 2022.

     Working in a building that constantly stays consistent with updates and renovations to better their workspace for not only staff but students as well can be extremely beneficial. Being able to work in an updated environment can help the students with learning new material, allowing for them to grow alongside their class and teachers. 

     Highlands High School has been through many physical changes over the many years of this institution.

     On January 7, 1962, there was a tragic fire that burned down a decent amount of HHS. They were able to fully recover from this tragedy, adding extensions onto the school while rebuilding it back to its original form prior to the fire. Even though HHS recovered, that doesn’t mean it was easy. 

     Library Media Specialist Jason Gay said, “Because of the fire the community really had to pitch and help out the school.” 

     Fortunately, neither staff nor students were harmed in the 1962 fire, since it took place during after-school hours. 

     In recent years, there have been many additions made to the school. 

     Guidance Counselor Laura Schnitzler said,  “I think the renovation affected the school by making it more modern. Prior to the renovation, many halls were dark with cement flooring. Now, the walls, floors, hallways, and classrooms are brighter and not as dreary. As well, rooms were supplied with updated technology like smart boards, document projectors, and later, Apple TVs.” 

     The HHS staff took advantage of the tragic fire while adding new improvements to the school. Along with the new changes they added, such as the transformation of the women’s gym and how it turned into the new physical education room for students and staff. 

     Health Teacher Michael Code said, “The fitness center used to be the women’s gym and there was a walking track at the top of the room.”

     This goes to show one of the many changes that HHS has added to their facilities, such as updating the gym for P.E. class students. “Along with the change of the fitness center the school has made another change to the athletic department, my part of the school [where he teaches] used to be the middle school and is known as the south section, it’s now a part of the High School,” said Code.

     Another renovation that was made was to the library. The library used to be two stories instead of one, along with there being a downstairs room which had a small classroom in the back and consisted of different technological equipment. HHS now has much bigger classrooms along with the HHS library and the Physical education room.

     Equipment is another big change the school faced during its remodel, as they added many new sources of technology and supplies so that students could use the technology and labs to their advantage in classes and afterschool programs. 

     Even with all of the changes and renovations that took place over the past years, HHS is grateful they are able to manage the changes and provide an up-to-date workspace for staff and students. 

     Other links to read about the HHS fire: