It's no longer your father's library

The New Richmond Board of Education decided a decade ago not to build a new high school and began the process of bringing the New Richmond High School building up to modern standards.
First came the replacement of the façade and structure repairs; then came removal of asbestos and replacing ceilings and floors; and most recently adding energy efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning. But something was missing inside the modernized high school building.
The library remained ‘Your father’s library,’ not the modern equivalent of  learning centers which have become the social, collaborative hub of the campus while maintaining their role as places for intense study.

“We had a classic library which was using original furniture when the building was built in 1965,” noted NREVSD Supt. Adam Bird.

Laura Kramer, HR manager for TQL uses the Media Center's mobile chairs
 during the  NRHS  College and Career Success Class
The 1965 library experience wasn’t going over very well with recent graduates who went on to college.

“Our building leadership team did research during the second semester last year to develop a multi-year vision for the building,” explained NRHS principal Mark Bailey. “One of the things we discovered in our research was that many of our graduates said there were things that they felt they should have received though a media center education that would have prepared them better for college for doing research.”

That all changed this summer when, with the backing of the Board of Education, Mr. Bird and Mr. Bailey presented returning high school students with a contemporary, $200,000 learning center that provides private study space while at the same time supporting multiple large and small group meetings.

Jim Huebner,Senior Vice President, River Hills Bank,
uses one of two ottoman seating areas during a NRHS
College and Career Success Class.
"We want our students to be inspired to learn and we were looking for a more collegiate and contemporary look for our new media center," said Bird.

“The room is designed to be very flexible in its use,” explained Bailey, who reclaimed the school’s original library space for the media center. “It’s set up where you can do large-group presentations with a projection board and three 65-inch flat screen TVs, with chairs for the large-group presentations being mobile and arranged quickly in any order.”

Seating options include booths, mobile chairs, bar stools, ottoman seating and open cubicles.
“Some students do better in some type of seating options so we have those,” said Bailey. “Some spaces are conducive to small group work. Some spaces are conducive to groups of 2 to 8 students who are working on a major project. Other sections are for students who are doing independent work who want to be isolated so they can focus on their work.”

Ted Groman , Assistant Director, Ohio
 Means Jobs, used the Center's table
seating for his talk with NRHS
students during a College and Career
Success class.
An example of the media center’s flexibility is the College and Career Success class taught by seven business leaders from the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce.  The course focuses on helping senior students learn the skills necessary to aid in the smooth transition from high school into the workplace or college life and the Chamber group is able to go from one large group to seven individual groups in a matter of seconds.
“If you have a class and you want students to work in pairs or in groups of four, it’s very easy to maneuver to change the academic focus to allow students to something a little bit different from the classroom,” said Bailey.

Cyn Macke, Director of Member Services,
Clermont Chamber of Commerce, uses
a second ottoman seating area for her part
of the College and Career Success class.
 “Several schools have done electronic media centers (Medina, Madeira) but we wanted to make ours something that was very flexible and something where we could house all our books and assorted media while keeping up to date with the changes in technology so that our students could have that experience and be prepared if they choose to go on to college.”

The media center has been a big hit with teachers and students alike.

“Teachers can reserve use of the media center to do class presentations because it’s ideal for large groups with its projection boards and three large screen plasma televisions,” said Bailey. “It’s also idea for smaller groups or independent work with our institution of learning periods this year (modern day study halls) and that has created flexibility with student schedules where they may have time to visited the media center and use it to the fullest extent and I see that happening on a daily basis.” 
Booth seating areas are perfect for 4 to 6 group meeting. Lee Rose – Admissions Counselor for Chatfield College is pictured with her small group during the College and Career Success class.

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