All the bells and whistles, South undergoes new renovations

Becca Koch '22 and Natalie Lemmen '24

New digitized clocks in the hallway are just one example of South’s renovations. (Natalie Lemmen ’24)

Students returning to South this fall may have noticed a variety of changes to the halls. From new lighting to the unique bell chimes, schools South looks a little different from last year.
This summer a variety of renovations were carried out, mainly in the S-building, according to principal Moussa Hamka.
“Over the summer, we had a plethora of upgrades throughout our building
including a lot of pipes and valves associated with heating systems and the boiler systems,” Hamka said. “We also have upgrades to lighting and other electrical components. We did a lot of work in the basement with mitigation of water that is coming into our building.”
Because of the age of South, several pieces in the building, like the bells in the main building, were original according to Hamka.
“Anytime you open up a building, you find things in the wall that maybe you didn’t think were there,” Hamka said. “With that being said, it’s very common to have extensions on this work because they could find things that they didn’t know were there that will take longer to mend or fix. But we mitigated all of those pieces that came up. We finished installing all our cabling and our software.”
Science teacher Claire Sobolack said the length of the renovations did cause some concerns with the beginning of the school year.
“For me and many other teachers, we were just nervous that we wouldn’t be able to set up our classrooms in time for the school year,” Sobolack said.
In light of the importance of proper ventilation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Sobolack said this maintenance is even more necessary.
“It’s so important to update all the things like ventilation in our school simply because our school is older, so we have a lot of old machinery and ductwork,” Sobolack said. “We do need to make sure our air is purified and clean for all students and teachers so that we can continue learning and prevent the spread of COVID.”
The renovations were carried out as part of a larger bond passed three years ago in Grosse Pointe according to Hamka. He said many of the renovations are not often seen, but are still crucial to the upkeep of the building.
“We’re just thankful for the community support,” Hamka said. “This past year was a great example of that and we’re just thankful for the community’s support and resources to keep this school functional and keep it beautiful.”