The Wall


By Lauren Miller (@lomillah)
Modernize. That is the name of the game, that is the reason for the multitude of changes the summer of 2015 will bring, and according to Associate Principal Greg Minter, that is Prospect’s future: a modern one.
One such step towards modernization will be the removal of the majority of athletes’ pictures from the walls in the foyer and hallways leading to the gyms, better known as “the wall.” This removal will include all pictures except for recent ones and the most prestigious teams or athletes. While Minter is not sure who exactly qualifies as prestigious, he does believe that this will mostly be state champions and all-state athletes. As for recent pictures, Minter hopes that the an athlete’s photo will remain up for the four years the student is at Prospect, but he is unsure of how it will all shake out.
This removal will expand beyond athletic achievements to the academic achievement pictures that line the top of the walls throughout the hallways around the classrooms.
The pictures will all be scanned and enhanced on the computer before they are entered into a database linked to the Prospect website where they can be searched for by year, name or sport. This modernization will also include two large touch-screen TVs that will be linked to the database and which will be placed in the field house foyer and the new commons (to read about changes to the commons for the 2015-2016 school year, click here).
“We’re just trying to clean up some of the wall, to modernize the building a bit,” Minter said. “What I like about it is that you don’t have to come to Prospect to look at the pictures. They will be online. So like grandma and grandpa in Florida could look at their grandchild’s picture.”
Beyond modernization, Prospect is simply running out of space to house all the pictures. Minter also added that after the pool gets built, the hallways that house the pictures will most often be locked because traffic will be diverted through the pool area (to see the layout of the future sports wing, click here).
“We just don’t have enough space,” Minter said. “We have pictures in storage right now that have come off of the wall in the foyer, so this will allow us to have all of our pictures available for people to see and to preserve them for people.”
As for the pictures themselves, all will be kept and saved, unless an athlete wants to take their picture with them.
While there has been some controversy over the legacy of the wall changing. Minter has not received any negative feedback about this change, but rather people curious as to what is going on. Overall, Minter believes that this is a step in the right direction for Prospect as the 50 year old school begins to modernize.
“A lot of our area high schools have done this as well, … and it’s something that we’ve been thinking of for a while. … Most of the people who I have gotten feedback from haven’t been negative, but more so questioning why we were doing that … and after I explained it to them, most of them have understood why were doing it.”
On the other side, junior wrestler Alex Priessing is not a huge fan of the changes. His main concern is that his and other lesser known athletes’ accomplishments will get lost as years go by.
“Maybe for a football or basketball player, it’s not as big of a deal because everyone knows the football and basketball players and goes to their games,” Pressing said, “But for people in the lesser known sports, people wouldn’t really known how those athletes are excelling [without the wall].”
He also thinks the new system will be less effective than the wall.
“No one is going to look into the computer system at the pictures. A lot of people like going down the hallways and looking at all the different people and their accomplishments here,” Pressing said. “You won’t just be able to look up and see it. You have to look them up to find them.”
Senior gymnast Maddie Larock echos this as she believes that after the modernization, the only way to find people is to know who you’re looking for, rather than just looking up. She also opposes taking down the wall because for it symbolizes something more than just a place to proclaim athletes accomplishments.
“In a way, having the wall be a thing is a way to give incoming freshmen their first goal,” Larock said. “And then that’s one of the steps to go on and break a record or something. It’s a good stepping stone. … When I came in, the older girls before me were on the wall … so it was something you wanted to be a part of.”
While Larock isn’t too keen on the complete removal of the majority of the wall, she does like the idea that the pictures will remain up while the athlete is a student at Prospect.
“I like the idea of pictures, but it’s good to still have it on a computer because then you can keep all of them, which is cool. 100 years from now, you can still have the oldest pictures on there, so that’s kind of cool.”
Even though there is controversy over the removal of the wall, it is happening. The removal of the wall is only one step in the plan to modernize Prospect as we know it.
“We’re really excited for some of the new facility improvements we’re going to have, including the new commons and the new pool area,” Minter said. “That’s going to really transform what’s kind of an older building and we hope that these improvements will help modernize the feel of our facility. Hopefully this project will help to give the building a more clean, less cluttered, modern feeling.”