Brick, Mortar, and Memories

Paroma Chakravarty

From May 2011
After years of complaining about the decrepit conditions of Chamblee, students and staff have finally been promised a shiny new school. The yellowed halls, the moldy ceilings, and the drafty windows that plagued this school will not be missed much. The school is humming with excitement about the new building.
Giddiness is infecting students in all grades, regardless of if they will actually be in the new building or not.
“Even though I won’t be in the new building to use all the new amenities, I’m just really glad Chamblee is actually getting what it deserves,” said junior Ashley Orage (’12). “I’m tired of it being the laughing stock of DeKalb County.”
While the new school is being built, the majority of students will be moved out to trailers on the baseball field. Though necessary, this shift is a point of great disappointment for students.
“I’ve heard we’ll have no lockers to hang up acceptance letters on and no access to the senior courtyard,” said junior Emma Hulme (’12). “I was looking forward to those senior traditions.”
Despite the physical removal of the senior hallways and courtyard, senior traditions will be preserved during construction. Senior class sponsor and ELA teacher Amy Branca hopes to take elements of these traditions and rewire them for trailer culture.
“Seniors will still have an outdoor space to hangout in and we’ll figure some place out for the wall painting,” said Branca. “But we’ll also have to create some new traditions.”
Pink flamingos, lawn gnomes, and street names are just some of the quirky things teachers are planning to decorate the trailers with.
Gearing up for the exodus to the baseball field requires a lot of packing for the teachers, which results in an added stress.
“You accumulate so much stuff over the years that you forget where everything is,” said engineering teacher Gwen Cook. “I’ll definitely need my students to help me pack everything.”
Teachers who have been working in the same building for decades will have the hardest adjustment to trailer park life and the new building.
“I’m going to miss this school,” said math teacher Clint Momon, the longest resident of the old building. “But since the school will be in the same neighborhood, I can just look out the window and orient myself. I’m sure it won’t be too hard to get used to.”
Through all the plans and excitement, a tone of nostalgia is quite prominent.
“Some hallways hold memories that just won’t exist after the school is demolished,” said senior Nishat Mhamud (’11).
As upperclassmen graduate, their last memories of Chamblee will be in the beaten up halls of the old building, meaning that their reunions will not be affected by the new building.
“Chamblee is Chamblee because of the people,” said senior Paige Holbrook. “As long as they are around, what building we are in means nothing.”