DHS sports new look thanks to bond issue

Klaudia Manis and Alyssa Lai

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Derby High underwent plenty of change over the summer — and students noticed immediately.

“I think what they did really opens up the school, it makes it more lifelike to be in,” senior Connor Robinette said. “I like that there’s more gray just because last year it was all brown and it made it feel groggy.” 

Through the $114-million bond issue that was passed in 2018, the high school got new lights, flooring and paint. 

But some prefer the previous look.

“It looks like a hospital or prison,” junior Jack Sallman said. “I just feel like it’s gray everywhere — there is not enough green for Derby pride.”

Junior Hayden Reece added: “It had more of a home-y feel to it (before), and now it seems, like, too modern and distant. It’s like trying to separate instead of like, encourage.”

It’s quite a change from the old carpet and dim lights. A and B halls, though, still haven’t been renovated, so there’s a huge disparity between the old and new areas.

“You just didn’t realize how dark and dreary this place was because you were just in it — it’s all we knew,” principal Tim Hamblin said.

A setback, though, occurred when the United States increased tariffs — a tax applied to foreign imports — on goods from China. The tariffs dramatically affected the price of the materials used for the renovation, slowing the refurbishment process. 

“You’ve passed a bond for, say $14 million, and now with all these other variables, what you wanted to do is going to cost you ($22 million),” Hamblin said.

Hamblin is optimistic about the future of this renovation.

“I think right now, today, we are better off than we were. There are still many things to come,” Hamblin said.

More changes are due for the 25-year-old school, with the renovation planning to be completed over the next few years.

“I try to tell people, be patient, there are still three years to come,” Hamblin said.