School Structure Shift

Theodora Baktidy

Manhasset High School’s Arts Department has greatly changed over the past century. Originally, the school’s two libraries connected to form the school gym, the theater department was not as developed, and there were fewer art teachers as opposed to the current four.

Mrs. Moody started working as the librarian at Manhasset Secondary school, around 17 years ago. Walking in the library today, traces of the past are seen everywhere.  She recalls, “There was a carpet covering the floor, and the fire department said that it had to be removed because it was a safety hazard. I realised that since the library was originally a gym, under the carpeting there had to be a hardwood floor.”

Mrs. Moody knew that 10 years prior to her arrival, the library was a gym. So, she started trying to pull up the corners of the carpet in order to see if there really was wood flooring under the carpet. She was right. Soon after, the new floor was sanded and waxed. On the floor the volleyball floor anchors (sleeve sockets), can still be seen. The High School Library(HSL), and the Blackbox were also part of the gym. There was a large staircase that ran from where the smartboard in the Middle school Library(MSL) is, all the way down to the back of the HSL.

The Manhasset Theater Department, now headed by Mr. Fessler, was also once part of the old gym. It is hard to envision the all black, freezing room as once having been part of a gym. The traces though subtle, are still present. The ceiling is very high, that way if games like volleyball were played there would be no risk of hitting the ceiling.

The art department has improved greatly over the years. Up until a few years ago, there was only one artroom, a small office, and another small office like the room for life drawing. When the school was renovated three summers ago, in order to better accommodate the growing number of students who wished to take art classes, two new rooms were built. These rooms are fully furnished and connected by an office. Each of these new rooms is nearly twice the size of the original. As well, these rooms are now where the old superintendent’s office used to be and two old classrooms were converted into two extra, smaller art rooms. The classes that used those rooms originally were moved. Additionally, the old art rooms were renovated, and turned into music rooms.

 Mr. Vercessi, the assistant principal, recognized the large change,  “In the past couple of years the arts department has undergone a lot of renovation.”