Much needed renovation of weight room, locker room needs to be prioritized

It has been 21 years since Wootton's last renovation.

Photo courtesy MCPS

It has been 21 years since Wootton’s last renovation.

It has been 21 years since the last partial renovation has been made to Wootton, and neither the weight room nor the locker room have been touched since 1970, when the school was built. Although architectural design for the project has begun, the renovation is scheduled to be finished by September 2027. 

The renovation was needed and nice but it pushed Wootton lower on the list for a remodeling or new building.”

— Joseph Mamana

The date has been pushed back multiple times and when the renovation is finished, it will be irrelevant to current students who use the crowded locker room and weight room. According to MCPS other schools are more deserving of a renovation or the weight room and locker room aren’t in dire need of new remodeling, but right now they are becoming hard to function properly. The space needed for kids 50 years ago is no longer proportional to what is needed with today’s enrollment number. “[In 2000] the rest of the building just had cosmetic upgrades. The renovation was needed and nice but it pushed Wootton lower on the list for a remodeling or new building,” Assistant Principal Joseph Mamana said. 

The opposing viewpoint may say that there isn’t enough funding, but at the least there can be partial renovations to the locker room to remove the unusable showers or redesign the team rooms for more effective storage. There are only two team rooms that can barely support the largest sport teams with the most equipment, and a few teams are forced to use real lockers on the upper floor. “For [JV] lacrosse we were using the shower space to keep our equipment, creating a major inconvenience and for football the team rooms could barely provide any extra space for us,” sophomore Max Mirsky said. 

The weight room as well does not need a full renovation, but more so a relocation to another large room, such as the art fashion room directly down the hallway. During ordinary times, the weight room was being used constantly during the summer and winter for after school workouts with at least 40 kids trying to exercise within a tight time period. “I would definitely like a new area because of how hard it is to organize a congested room while giving everyone enough time and space to do their exercises without invading anyone else’s space,” varsity lacrosse Coach Ralph Bernardo said.

Our locker rooms are very neglected by the county compared to other Montgomery County schools…”

— Jake Lottenberg

The locker room used today is likely to be the same one used by your parents and in the upcoming years the weight room won’t even be functional with the increasing number of athletes. A full renovation is not needed to fix these immediate problems, but students can urge the county to take action with smaller projects that can provide a solution in the meantime. “Our locker rooms are very neglected by the county compared to other Montgomery County schools, and I really do think our crammed weight room puts us at a severe disadvantage against other sports teams in preparing in the off season,” junior Jake Lottenberg said.