BGHS tour shows its deficiencies


Extension cords and power strips give students the classroom outlets they need to charge their Chromebooks.

The tight turns into the bathrooms prohibit entrance for someone who uses a wheelchair.

Water pressure is so bad that if three toilets are flushed at once, the bowl won’t empty.

Those issues — and limited science rooms — are just a few of the deficiencies at Bowling Green High School.

Principal Dan Black took around 25 people on a tour through the school Thursday, from the band and choral room to the new hallway and gym that were added in the 1980s, to the library and vo-ag and art classrooms.

Before Black started the tour, he asked participants to look at the number of outlets in the classrooms, note the deficiencies of the science rooms and the small sizes of rooms in general.

“Education is changing, it’s evolving, and us at the high school and as a district have evolved with the 1:1 computers,” he said.

Students take home their laptops and bring them back every day. When this building was built, there were no computers at all. When Chromebooks start to lose their charge, they need to be plugged in, he said.

Some of the science rooms don’t have running water and the classrooms can’t accommodate how teachers now want to teach, Black said.

There is no door to a first-floor closet as the steam has warped the wood.

A teacher in Room 112, which is next door to the closet, took the clock off his wall and found mold.

The steam that is typically produced by the boilers goes up to the second floor and fogs the windows.

The high school is in the process of getting mini-splits, which will go into every classroom, the cafeteria and the gyms to regulate temperatures.

“That is something that we are thankful for and something that is necessary,” Black said.

He pointed out the hallways next to the band room connect with the Performing Arts Center and the middle school. Staff and students do traverse that hall between buildings.

Black estimated about one-third of students participate in music and more than half participate in sports.

He said he did not know if a new high school would be connected to the PAC.

“That is yet to be determined,” he said.

Neal Allen, who lives in Bowling Green, served as principal at the high school from 1979-92.

“It’s just so outdated,” he said of the school. “It seems like when we’re a group like this it isn’t bad, but when we change classes, the halls are just packed.”

He said he remembered the issues with water pressure and was impressed with how clean the school was despite its age.

“It definitely needs to be updated with today’s open instruction and individual attention, especially for the students to take more pride,” Allen said. “It can be improved, they need more room and larger classrooms.”

Jay Sockman is a 1990 BGHS graduate.

He said the school hasn’t changed much.

“I wanted to see what maybe I hadn’t seen walking through really fast,” said Sockman, who has a son who is a junior at BGHS.

His message to parents who are thinking about moving their family to Bowling Green is the school has great teachers.

Sockman said he wasn’t convinced a new high school was the way to go and declined to say how he thought updates could be made.

The school’s vo-ag and art rooms “have great space if nothing else,” Black said.

“If everything was brand new, I’m not sure we would have that same amount of space for those areas,” he said.

Jean Suelzer has lived in Bowling Green for 49 years and had children attend Conneaut Elementary. This was her first time in the high school.

“I’ve never been in the high school because our children went north for parochial schools,” she said.

“I think it definitely needs to be replaced,” Suelzer said at the end of the tour. “It’s past its usefulness.”

“I was hoping for more,” Black said about the number of people who took the 90-minute tour. “I want the community to see what we face on a day in and day out basis. What our students see, what they come to and the challenges we have.”

Community members have another chance to learn the district’s plan for its facilities at a forum Tuesday hosted by the Facilities Advisory Committee. The event will start at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

“I think it’s important to be there, so you hear what the plan is going forward for the district …” Black said.

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