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Campus upgrades promote school spirit

%27Pathways+and+Portals+to+the+Arts%27+displays+themes+of+water%2C+land%2C+paths%2C+greenery%2C+and+portals.+The+display+was+created+by+the+art+classes.+
'Pathways and Portals to the Arts' displays themes of water, land, paths, greenery, and portals. The display was created by the art classes.

'Pathways and Portals to the Arts' displays themes of water, land, paths, greenery, and portals. The display was created by the art classes.

Emily Kottak

Emily Kottak

'Pathways and Portals to the Arts' displays themes of water, land, paths, greenery, and portals. The display was created by the art classes.

Emily Kottak, Features Editor

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Upon arriving back at school on Aug. 28, several new upgrades to Reagan’s campus may have captured the attention of students. While students were enjoying their summer, much of the Reagan staff was working on improving the heart of campus.

One of the most noticeable upgrades is located on the front of the building. What used to be a plain brick wall has now been enhanced with a light installation in the form of the Old English Reagan “R” design. This upgrade was a senior gift from the class of 2017.

“The idea for this senior gift came about through conversations between Mrs. McCoy, Mr. Royal, and myself,” said lead senior advisor and American History teacher Scott McAbee. “It was the most obvious design.”

The seniors also made a few more additions to the front of the school including two benches, a stone wall and a stone bench surrounding a tree. However, the light installation is the most eye-catching of them all. 

“Each senior class tries to do something unique,” said McAbee, “The light installation provides a focal point and is the first thing people see when they come to Reagan. We thought it was a good welcome sign to the school.”

How the light installation was actually constructed and attached to the building is another story, involving a somewhat lengthy process before reaching the final result.

“My husband, Charlie Jones, was a part of the initial process,” said front office secretary Kim Jones. “He called a company that does signs, and that sign company went with the Old English ‘R’ design. He then contacted another friend of his, Derick Douglas, who contacted another sign company. The sign company set it up, decided on material and how much lighting was needed. The school system then had to approve it all, so they were a part of the process too. Finally, the sign company installed the fixture and added the lighting.”

Thankfully, all of this hard work has paid off. The new light installation seems to be a hit among Raiders.

“I like it because it represents Raider pride,” said sophomore Stephen Chaesney.

The light installation isn’t the only campus upgrade appreciated by students. The art hallway has been enhanced as well. The previously plain hallway walls have been decorated with colorful ceramic sculptures.

“I think this new feature is unique,” said sophomore Priya Tella. “It’s a good way to portray different kinds of art.”

The art installation began towards the end of the previous school year. Lots of dedication and hard work were  put into creating the final piece.

“I actually got a grant from Piedmont Craftsmen in downtown Winston-Salem to get started,” said visual arts teacher Jennifer Willard. “I wanted to do something that would make a big impact so I requested an artist who could make a large installation piece. They suggested Pam Brewer because she’s done mural mosaics. I talked with Pam and told her I wanted a mural on our wall that symbolized a pathway to the arts. So, we titled it ‘Pathways and Portals to the Arts’ which means that no matter what you choose to do with your life art will always be a pathway.”

Each art class was given a theme ranging from water, land, paths, greenery, and portals to which they used to clay to create. Willard fired all the clay and then put it out on tables to figure out the arrangement to place them in. They then would carry the table up to the location and put it on the wall to create their piece.”

All of these new upgrades have created something special for the campus. They provide a sense of uniqueness and create something memorable that will last a lifetime in the hearts of Raiders.

 

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