The Mill gets a makeover


Shelby Foster

The 700 hall lockers received a fresh coat of paint along with the rest of the lockers around the school. This advancement to the school, along with new water fountains with bottle filling features, new lighting, and new hand dryers highlight many of the changes around Starr’s Mill for the 2017-2018 school year.

Ty Odom, Staff Writer

Over the summer break, while students were relaxing and enjoying their much needed time off from school, construction workers were making overdue renovations at Starr’s Mill High School. “I think it’s a positive for the school. We definitely need a little facelift on things,” athletic director and assistant principal over facilities Shane Ratliff said. “As long as we’ve been taking care of it, it’s still going to need work, so having this renovation is a big deal.”

Old appliances were replaced with the latest models, fresh coats of paint were applied, and numerous structural improvements were made. “When we get everything done, students will be really excited. There’s going to be a lot of advantages students get from the new renovations,” Ratliff said. The renovations will give Starr’s Mill a fresh, new look.

These new additions provide the student body with cleaner facilities to take care of business.”

— Staff Writer Ty Odom

Old toilets, sinks, and water fountains were replaced to make room for the next set of appliances to be used by students for years to come. The restrooms around the school also received a gift from the graduating class of 2017 in the form of new hands-free Dyson hand dryers. The hand dryers provide a bit of modern flair to the walls of the bathrooms with their sleek, angular design. New toilets were put into the stalls and new sinks with hot and cold water taps were added. These new additions provide the student body with cleaner facilities to take care of business.

The familiar smell of fresh paint was evidence of the new paint on the walls and lockers in the hallways of Starr’s Mill. The lockers were painted blue, black and grey to match the school’s colors. The new colors provided a different atmosphere from the teal, blue, and red that were on the lockers since the school opened. The aged, chipped, and weathered paint was covered up, giving the halls a brighter look. “It’s going to look like Starr’s Mill. There won’t be any more navy blues or all these other colors that aren’t Starr’s Mill colors,” Ratliff said. “When the update is complete, everything in here will be school colors.”

Several structural improvements have been and are being made throughout the building. The air conditioning unit was redone, which will hopefully give the students and faculty comfort instead of always being uncomfortably hot or cold. The Willie Duke Auditorium is currently being renovated as well. “Everything will be new in there. All the lighting, the sound system, new chairs are being put in, and the stage is getting repaired as well. There will be new paint. For the most part, the entire auditorium is getting an overhaul,” Ratliff said. The renovations in the auditorium are scheduled to be done within the second semester, which means that concerts or other events that take place in the auditorium may have to be moved to alternate locations.

While renovations are being made to the school building, Panther Stadium received a huge upgrade. The grass has been ripped out of the ground and replaced with artificial turf. The new turf will make for easier field maintenance, not requiring watering or mowing. The turf also provides more safety to the athletes, decreasing the risk of injury. The improved field also gives the athletes more opportunities to play. “We will be able to get on that turf rain or shine. If it’s raining like crazy with no lightning, we can get on that field, so practices won’t be affected quite like they would have been if it was raining,” Ratliff said. Most of the changes have been beneficial for the school, one will change the iconic image of Starr’s Mill High School.

The tall glass obelisk that rises above the walkway into the building is being removed as part of the renovations. The reason for the chopping of the top is “to give a facelift so it won’t look as aged,” Ratliff said. The pointed top will be replaced with a shorter, flat top. “It will be more visually appealing,” Ratliff said. Despite the possibility of being visually appealing, there may be several unhappy individuals. The glass structure has been a part of Starr’s Mill since it opened.

Starr’s Mill High School is going through some major changes. There is an entirely new atmosphere throughout the Mill. The renovations have made the school a little more modern, and the faculty and students will be taking advantage of them for years to come.