ICYMI: Breaking Ground

It is effortless to roam the hallways of Antioch Community High School and think of the school as one of the oldest in Lake County with its little architectural and technical advances. However, the history hidden behind the building’s bricks display the alterations that occurred in the school and the aspects that have remained the same since its founding in 1915.

There is a prominent change in the outlook of the walls that extend throughout many of the department-specific hallways at ACHS. The differences in coloration and texture reveal the school’s five main architectural transformations that occurred throughout the 1900s. The building that once housed just 184 students after its first renovation in 1926 opened its doors to more than 1,377 Sequoits during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Beginning with hallways extending at a width of two cars and a circular shape that linked the various departments within the school, the structural atmosphere has since shifted to a modern form that creates thinner hallways and a slight horse-shoe connection between them.

Along with Antioch’s structural upgrades, its new classrooms boast technological advancements that keep up with today’s society. Television, computers and internet have found their way into the daily lives of Sequoit faculty and students, replacing the intricate typewriters that lined the tables of what are now computer labs.

“We didn’t have computers to look up information on, but electronic typewriters,” alumna Robin Gwinn said. “Typing was actually one of my favorite classes and I remember that my typing speed, which we were tested on weekly, was 123 words per minute.”

While the differing size, shape and color of the bricks in each hallway communicate the remodeled setting of Antioch, some believe the education system did not followed the change that the school sought to pursue in this time of progress.

Science teacher Thomas Hoffeditz has worked at ACHS for 30 years and looks towards retirement at the end of the year. After experiencing much of the school’s development, Hoffeditz explained various changes and similarities that have taken place. New additions such as revamped classrooms, materials and technology continue to frame the school while the standardized classroom environment remains consistent.

“Look at the advances we have made in phones and automobiles,” Hoffeditz said. “Looking at education, though, it is the same as it was in the 1940s: sit in rows, raise your hand and get called on.”

With the Common Core model teaching the same basics of mathematics, reading, English and science that were seen almost 80 years ago, several teachers strive to improve this aspect of the school’s teaching style by following the popular revisions that countries such as Finland, Sweden and Germany exhibit.

“We make kids have no interest in academics after they learn the simple skills,” Hoffeditz said. “When instead, we could be teaching them to be viable citizens of society by letting them study their interests.”

Despite America’s downfall of education in comparison to the rest of the world, ACHS constantly works towards enhancing this function of the school to meet the needs of students. Looking past the problems that the school chooses to overcome, the multi-patterned bricks that make up the foundation of the building reveal timeless features that Antioch still attains today. The amount of progress that the school has made in the last century reveal immense changes that produce benefits for students and staff alike. Throughout the years, the hundreds of families who have sent their kids to this high school notice positive changes through the experiences and opportunities their students receive.

“The administration has been a lot more involved in the school,” junior Taylor Horner said. “It is always uplifting to see Mr. Hubbard at all the fine arts and sporting events compared to some of the administration from the past that my siblings had.”

Today, ACHS highlights numerous academic departments and a variety of extracurriculars to foster achievement in those areas. It also presents a transformed administrative committee that makes it a priority to be supportive of students, teachers and the well-being of the school in all areas. maintaining an atmosphere that annually expands in diversity and culture in addition to growing educational and athletic programs, ACHS students are led towards successful career paths.

In discovering the outcome of the millions of dollars’ worth of renovations ACHS experienced in the past, there is a deeper meaning that follows the cement, clay and stone bricks that upholds the weight of this prospering school. The distinct changes that are apparent in the walls affirm the school’s flourishing evolution that is sometimes missed in everyday encounters. Although they thought of as unimportant components within this hundred-year old school, the timeless bricks lining each hallway display the historical revisions made within ACHS and the school’s ambition to continues to push towards a bigger and better source of opportunity for the students that step through its doors each year.