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Is Our Campus Really That Bad? Reflecting on CCHS Facilities

Bertrand Edwards
The repainting of multiple CCHS buildings took place during the fall semester and winter break of the 2023-2024 school year.

Students have had a lot of opinions on our school’s glow-up earlier this year. Around Thanksgiving break, we saw windows get covered in butcher paper; soon all the exterior walls were cleaner and brighter, and everyone had something to say. Who knew a paint job could be so controversial? I’ve heard it called everything from “a waste of money” to “the wrong shade of blue.” But, a few months later, as we see the walls already getting a little dirty again, it’s raised questions about the general quality of our campus, how facility improvement funding should be spent, and if our campus really deserves all the trash-talk it gets.


Five years ago, in 2019, the school district did an assessment of all campuses, which they condensed into report cards, grading different aspects of the campuses on an F to A+ scale. CCHS got a C average. A passing grade, yes, but not amazing, considering it’s where we spend at least 35 hours a week. 


According to a longer version of the report card, most of the buildings in the school were built in 1951, including the gym, library, and most classrooms. The windows on campus “appear to be original to 1951.” All the roofs were last replaced in around 2000.


For context, 1951 is the year that a baseball game was first aired on television in color, 73 years ago. 


Of course, these buildings have been renovated since then, but they still have problems. Rain has proven to be a pressing issue: There’s not enough indoor seating for lunch, and the band room flooded in January because of water seeping in under the door. Outdoor halls also often fill with water, making them hard to walk through. The seemingly random railings make it difficult to escape packed walkways and cracks in the cement make it easy to trip.


The bathrooms are a whole separate issue (missing stall doors, sinks that don’t have water anymore), as are the indoor halls, which some students find to be a little too narrow to walk through comfortably during a crowded passing period. 


So, a fresh coat of shiny white, tan, and blue paint isn’t going to fix much, but it is tangible proof that improvements are on their way. The project itself, to repaint the middle and high school campuses, cost over $1 million, and was also only one in a long line of projects the school district currently has planned. This includes the new gym bleachers and a shade structure over the CCHS lunch area that will be installed in the future. The funding, mostly from the state and grants, seems to be specifically allotted to these projects, which explains why the school was repainted instead of given a more in-depth renovation. 


But you also might have heard of Measure E, a bond measure that Culver City residents voted on in March—and you’ve probably heard both good and bad reactions. Measure E’s purpose was to raise a small property tax on people living in Culver City in order to borrow $358 million dollars in bonds in order fund school facilities improvements such as improving technology, fixing roofs and ceilings, and constructing or acquiring necessary buildings and equipment, among many other things. In terms of CCHS, it means eventually completely rebuilding or modernizing most of the buildings in the school, according to CCUSD Future Ready, which is referenced as a basic framework for the planned improvements Measure E will fund. However, some Culver City residents and teachers were skeptical about whether Measure E funds would be managed and spent correctly by the current school board. They claim that the money from the last tax-raising measure CCUSD passed, Measure K in 2018, were not spent effectively, notably claiming that many funds were used to pay for New Earth, the nonprofit organization that the school district partnered with controversially to assist with more supportive discipline. Either way, Measure E passed, 62% to 38%, and hopefully it means a whole lot of improvements are coming to our school in the next several decades.Yes, decades.


So, we won’t be able to see many of the improvements that Measure E will bring to CCHS while we’re students. If it’s any consolation, it’s going to make the school better for a lot of future Centaurs. So, if your kids ever go to CCHS, they’ll at least have a beautiful school to be proud of.


For now, the best we can do is appreciate the true Southern-California vibe of our school, the open grassy spaces and outdoor halls that really are pleasant on sunny days, the truly majestic Robert Frost Auditorium, and the improvements that the school district can make with the funding it has. Even if it was unnecessary, we have to admit the paint job does make the school look at least a little better. All things considered, from funding to its age, CCHS is just doing its best, and hopefully its best will continue to get better in the future.

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About the Contributors
Juliet Ashley, Staff Writer
Bertrand Edwards
Bertrand Edwards, Staff Photographer
Hi, I'm Bert and this is my senior year at CCHS. This is my first year as a photographer for The Centaurian. Outside of the Journalism club, I write for the Culver Chronicle and take photos for the yearbook. My interests include photography, as well as history, astrophysics, antiquing and baking.

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