The Haystack

Wheat Ridge High School and its Inadequate Building Standards

Photo by Zoey Terry
Water leak in main hallway.

Joey Huckaby and Zoey Terry

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Wheat Ridge High School is one of the oldest high schools in Jeffco Schools.

Founded in 1897, most of our current building was built in the 1950s, and the annex was added in the 1970s. Then extensions were added on the east side of the science hallway in the 1990s. There have been countless problems plaguing our school, from old carpet to more extreme problems like flooding and having the HVAC go out.

Zoey Terry
Cracked ceiling tiles in halls

 

Jeffco Schools requires that classrooms do not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When Wheat Ridge HVAC broke in fall of 2016, classroom temperatures easily broke that threshold. Once our HVAC was repaired classrooms were very radical and fluctuate tremendously. Currently some classroom especially in our science and math hall have reached 95 degree fahrenheit during the fall and spring.
If the mill and bond issues, 5A and 5B, pass Wheat Ridge’s leaky roof will be the first to be replaced. Wheat Ridge maintenance manager Paul Seymour said that there might be more damage within the walls that the leaky roof has caused. Secondly, the interior of the school will see new carpets and desks. Seymour hopes that the west side of our building will be remodeled and repaved especially due to the flooding that happens there on occasion during heavy rain.
Overall Wheat Ridge cosmetically needs an overhaul; some staff members have suggested that they would like the school to be torn down and totally rebuilt. The problem with that idea is that the district would have to build temporary classrooms, which Wheat Ridge has no spare land to do such a thing. Wheat Ridge students could not be housed at surrounding high schools either as none of them have the room for an influx of students.
During the last mill and bond, in 2008, Wheat Ridge saw the addition to the Anderson Gym. While constructing this gym, due to the fact that Wheat Ridge High School was built on land previously used for farming, pumps had to be running for hours to keep the foundation of the Anderson Gym clear of water.
Seymour suggested that water is flowing underground from Crown Hill lake and is the reason why our retention pond on the east side of the school always has water flowing in it, even during the hottest day of summer.

The fact that Wheat Ridge is built between a large lake and an irrigation ditch has caused some flooding in the interior of the annex during heavy rain. Lucky this hasn’t caused any serious damage; however the fact that students have to go to class with large industrial size blow fans running shows that Wheat Ridge has some work that needs to be done to the historical Farm.
The contractors that created the blueprints for the Anderson Gym suggested a plan to Wheat Ridge Administration which would include keeping the west wing of the school, and bulldoze the main hallway, east wing, and the annex. A annex would only have one hallway and that hallway

Zoey Terry
old carpet

would be used for the art department. The remaining departments would be relocated to the current math hall and extensions to the science hallway. However, the chances for this plan or a similar plan to take place at Wheat Ridge would take tremendous community support and support from the district.
If 5A and 5B do not pass, the condition of the Farm will only become worse, and the pride of being a Farmer will continue to diminish by flooding halls, stained carpets, poor infrastructure, and many other issues. Historically, Farmers have always been one of the last to receive aid from the government. Sadly that is a true fact here at the Farm.

Zoey Terry
old carpet

Joey Huckaby, Marketing Editor

Joey Huckaby
Senior
third year reporter

60 Minutes fan

"If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it"

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Zoey Terry, Staff Writer

I'm severally allergic to trees, but I climb them anyways.

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Wheat Ridge High School and its Inadequate Building Standards