The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Outdoor Bathrooms to come to AHS

Construction delays impact students and faculty

Construction on permanent outdoor bathrooms have made their way to AHS after FCPS has set out to install outdoor bathrooms at all high schools across the county.

Set to be finished by the end of the school year, many community members have been overjoyed by news of the end to the porta-potties at stadium events. 

“Fairfax County, public schools, high schools have long wished for outdoor restrooms near their stadium. What has been holding it up has been the cost and the codes of building.” Principle Shawn DeRose said.

While AHS is not the first high school with outdoor bathroom facilities, FCPS has set out to help any school in the county that did not already have them.

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“Fairfax County is putting forward all the funds for any school that doesn’t have outdoor bathrooms, to become equitable to the other schools in FCPS that have them,” said Brandon Sutphin, Director of Student Activities.

However, the construction of the bathrooms has not been smooth sailing, and there have been a series of setbacks and delays.

After much pressure from DeRose, construction was supposed to be completed by the first day of school. 

“So this was supposed to be completed. Before students came back to school,” DeRose said. “So they did work during teacher and service week. And as they were working, there was some fear that it wasn’t going to be ready by the first day of school.”

Yet upon inspection, the rushed work was completed with many faults and was not up to county standard.

“Fairfax County came to inspect the work that they were doing. And they found that what they did wasn’t high quality. So then they made the contractors come back and fix the issues and the mistakes that were made the first time around,” said DeRose.

This has not been without consequences. Students and staff alike have been impacted.

“I mean like they’ve dug up our whole area and then during band camp we had like nowhere to rehearse, so we had to go to the back grass field, like where we do fire drills,” said senior Tyler Perez, drum major of the Marching Atoms. “Then they moved us to behind the Mods, and then they lined it again, but everybody parks there after school and they never move so we usually have to wait like half an hour to even start rehearsal every day.”

In addition to marching band practice, staff parking, and bus dropoff and pickup have also been significantly impacted by the construction.

“Some of the other inconveniences such as just access in and out of the back parking lot by staff, by cars and buses,” said DeRose. “So needless to say, anytime it’s been inconvenient, but I hope the inconvenience is paid off when the restrooms do open up.”

So far, utilities such as power and plumbing- the source of the setbacks- have been connected from the main building and placed under the location of the bathrooms. After that, a smooth level pad is constructed where the restrooms are built on top of.

“So they’ve done the running of utilities, I believe they put the pad down, and now they’re going to in the spring, begin building the restrooms themselves,” DeRose said.

“It’s terrific. I think there are many times where students, parents, community members who tend our games are apprehensive about using a Porta John,” DeRose said. “So I think that having a permanent outdoor facility will encourage more of our students and staff and community to attend games.”

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About the Contributors
Emily Hawkins, Co-Editor in Chief
Senior Emily Hawkins is thrilled to be this year's Co-Editor in Chief of The A-Blast. This is her third year in the program and was previous In-Depth Editor and Arts Editor. When she’s not at school she enjoys listening to music, reading, crocheting or hanging out with friends. She hopes to pursue further education in university and to study communications and journalism. She is looking forward to a great last year on staff!
Shane Gomez, Co-Editor in Chief

Senior Shane Gomez is the Co-Editor in Chief of the A-Blast. He was Editorials Editor as a sophomore and junior and a Staff Writer as a freshman. He is pursuing the IB Diploma and he can be found frequenting clubs and organizations such as AWC, AYSO, ABC, AA, CFAC, HSC, SHF, MUN, NHS, NEHS, NSSHS, SNHS, VWA, and YMG. He likes to thrift, hangout, and watch movies. He looks forward to graduating.

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