Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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June 26, 2005

Blair undergoes improvements for Bush's visit

by Alex Mazerov, Page Editor and Danny Scheer, Page Editor
Beginning on Monday, June 20, Blair staff members and other workers labored almost around-the-clock to prepare the building for President Bush's visit to the school on June 23.

Building Service Manager Quentin Middleton led the efforts of Blair's building service workers to clean and fix up the school before Bush's arrival. "We got the parking-lot arrows repainted and waxed the front and back hallways," said Middletown. Middleton himself spent 19 hours, from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., the day before Bush's speech preparing Blair. "[The preparation] was very demanding," he said.
The Blair auditorium on June 23, revamped for the president's visit. Alex Mazerov
The Blair auditorium on June 23, revamped for the president's visit.

Building service workers said that improvement projects at Blair that had been neglected for months were finally completed last week in order to spruce up the building for the president's visit. Light bulbs that burned out eight months ago, for example, were replaced only last week.

The Blair auditorium itself experienced a vast transformation in preparation for the president's visit. The last three rows of seats were entirely removed to make room for television cameras and photographers. The stage was carpeted blue and three signs reading "Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century" were hung from the side and back curtains. Bleachers were placed on the back of the stage and a platform for photographers was installed in the orchestra pit. In addition, large light fixtures were positioned on both sides of the stage and on the auditorium balcony.

Middleton and his team of building service workers gave special care to President Bush and the Secret Service, who were housed in the choral room and the band room, respectively, during the event. "The Renaissance hallway was completely redone," explained Middletown. "We shampooed the rugs and dusted everything; we did the whole nine yards."

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  • annoyed student on June 26, 2005 at 6:39 PM
    ...well, atleast SOMETHING good came out of his visit for the school.
  • ugh on June 26, 2005 at 8:19 PM
    i hate how it takes the President to fix up our school. us 3200 students aren't even important enough to change broken lightbulbs? i find that pathetic! i don't mean that building services have to shampoo carpets for us and all of that, but c'mon! we're students, we deserve a clean school too!
  • yeah on June 26, 2005 at 8:22 PM
    seriously dude.
    right on.
  • annoyed parent on June 26, 2005 at 10:21 PM
    So who paid for all the over-time work? Things that the students somehow don't deserve but a half-hour publicity stunt (paid for by our taxes I'm sure) does?
  • EH on June 26, 2005 at 11:57 PM
    Pity that it should take nothing less than a visit from the President to get the powers-that-be to do things that they should be doing anyway. With Weast earning more than Duncan, or even the Governor, one would think that the county would be able to keep Blair's light bulbs changed when necessary.
  • well.... on June 27, 2005 at 11:29 AM
    if you think about it, if someone important came to your house, you would do the most you could to make your house look as good as it can. On the other hand, if your friends, siblings, or relatives came over constantly, you wouldn't take extra care to clean up as much.
  • Chels on June 27, 2005 at 2:23 PM
    Great reporting, guys. It really speaks to our priorities.
  • somone (View Email) on June 27, 2005 at 9:12 PM
    sometimes students mess up our clean carpets or floors(and maybe even our light blubs!) *gasp*
  • Jay Asbell on June 27, 2005 at 10:38 PM
    All this stuff should have been done along time ago. Building services at blair lacks in alot of ways, and they would rather shut down sections of an already crowded eating area then have to clean a bit extra floorspace on blair blv.

    And whats with the janators that spend more time during lunch leaning against the wall yelling at students to pick up trash then actually cleaning themselves.
  • nobody on June 28, 2005 at 4:49 PM
    u guys are all feeling sorry for yourself. i feel sorry for the building service workers- shampooing the rugs so that pig has a better tv stunt.
  • uh on June 29, 2005 at 3:46 PM
    to Jay - nobody should be throwing down trash and expecting other people to pick it up.
    However - even though it's a really big school that I'm sure is hard to take care of, sometimes there have been whole hallways with lights out and the problem doesn't get fixed for days. I do feel a bit indignant that one president gets to have higher standards of cleanliness than over 3,000 students.
  • Sam on July 6, 2005 at 6:18 PM
    Building services at Blair might lack in some ways, but I wouldnít be very motivated to work my butt off for kids who are as messy as we Blazers are. As far as I can see they do their best, but itís not their fault that a lot of us lack common courtesy and manners. Youíve seen how the main hallways look like right after lunch. But have you seen the people who clean them right after 5b?

    Iím not surprised they went all out for the President. I believe that they would have put in the same effort if he was even remotely competent in his role. But I donít know, it seems really petty to me to complain about feeling a bit slighted because building services worked really hard to make Blair look good. They try to make our school look pretty decent during the school year, itís just that some of us canít control our urges to screw things up. Iím sure that we donít have enough to clean up Blair, just remember their human. If we, students, did our part I bet they would have had time to see fix lights and such things faster.
  • Jeremy Hoffman (View Email) on July 6, 2005 at 7:28 PM
    Great reporting, guys! This is the sort of behind-the-scenes info that makes SCO valuable.
  • why complain? on July 13, 2005 at 4:55 PM
    If you wanted the kind of clean school the staff prepared for the President, you would definitely need to double their salary, cause they would need to clean up after us every day. sam is right. It is also the student's responsibility to keep the school clean. Besides, its much easier to clean a school after the majority of the students have left it. Less mess to put away.
  • Disappointed Alumni on July 14, 2005 at 10:30 AM
    Great reporting =) One question though, you say there were 3 signs that said: "Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century"
    The question is:
    Who was responsible for those signs of lies??? Putting up 3 of those signs in our auditorium desecrates our standing as a knowledgeable/au courant student body.
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