The Future of Mariemont High School: Planning started for renovation

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The large, oddly shaped gray structures stretch across a wide hillside. (PHOTO BY ARC2O.COM)

Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California is a 150,000 square foot high school with 50 classrooms and 770 parking spots. The high school has a rare and unique architectural style. The building features a flexible learning environment to enable maximum student interaction. Could this be the future Mariemont High School?

Since last year, Mariemont high school faculty members have been planning on a new project. Currently, the ideas range from a brand new building to small renovations. The undecided project is likely to begin in 2018.

According to Principal Jim Renner, many ideas have been given, but none have been finalized. One proposal consists of blowing up the current building and rebuilding from the ground up. Another proposal seeks to completely relocate the high school.

With all of these concepts in mind, the Mariemont Board of Education (BOE) needs to come to a consensus on what the ultimate plan will be. The plans cannot be finalized without agreement from community members and faculty members.

Once the Mariemont BOE comes up with the final plan, the proposal will be sent to community members and they vote on it. Renner says, “The Mariemont taxpayers have no option but to pay. It’s either a brand new building or major renovations to keep the current building up to date.”

The Student Curriculum Committee, the official council through which students can provide feedback to course instructors and voice opinions about their education, has been asked to share their viewpoints on what the new school should feature. 

According to committee member, Andrew Brandser, the group recently attended a lunch meeting with an architect where they shared their ideas on what the future of Mariemont High School should look like.

The current high school building was opened in December of 1970. (PHOTO BY MARIEMONT.COM)

“Most of our suggestions about the future building included more natural light, outdoor learning space, and a unique design,“ said Brandser.

Not only have the classrooms been taken into consideration, but the auditorium and stadium are being evaluated

Renner said, “The problem with our auditorium is that it seats 430 people in a 500-plus student school; that just does not make sense.”

According to Renner the auditorium will be renovated in the near future. “Considering its lack of seating, poor acoustics, and no back stage area, we will need to renovate,” Renner added.

Regarding Kusel Stadium, Mariemont plans on preserving its unique style. Brandser says, “There are some small renovations that Kusel should receive, but the committee agreed that we should keep Kusel’s distinctive look.”

Freshman Ava Dorsten is excited for the future of Mariemont High School. Dorsten has a few pet peeves about the current building. “I hate how confusing the hallways are and how there are no windows. I’m excited to see what the new building will feature,” said Dorsten.

Similar to Dorsten, junior Jackson Northrop has a hatred toward the blank white walls in the classrooms. “I would really love more natural light in the school,” said Northrop.

Mariemont may not be the next Diamond Ranch High School, but there is still much to look forward to in a future high school building.