By Lily Mottet, Current Staff
Painting a hallway wasn’t supposed to renew the rivalry between West Bend East and West High Schools.
In November, West principal Ralph Schlass approved a new project of painting the west wall along the H hallway. That hallway separates the two schools with one side being a part of the West portion of the building and the other side belonging to East. Not to be outdone, the East office decided to paint the hallway’s other wall in East colors.
The idea came from maintenance worker Dave Hamilton after he was asked to take down some old picture frames that had been in the hallway for years.
“There was a hodgepodge of pictures that were no longer on the walls in any consistent fashion,” Schlass said. “It was looking pretty run-down. That’s why I made the decision to take them all down and return them to the art department. That’s when Mr. Hamilton came up to me with leftover paint.”
The steel blue color was added to the wall and students began to speculate whether East would add their school colors to the opposite wall. East principal Darci VanAdestine agreed that East should paint the opposite wall in the school’s gold color. But it didn’t go exactly according to plan.
“I started painting the wall yellow and thought, there’s no way,” Hamilton said. “That whole wall yellow would not be good. So then we met again, and I said, how about if I do three blocks yellow on top and then we do the bottom with the maroon color? They loved the idea.”
With the East side painted in two colors, a fun rivalry ensued. West administrators had to make it equal with two tones on the west side, too.
“They put two tones on (the East side) and that looked even better,” Schlass said. “So we are now painting the (West) side two tones. We’re putting a light blue up. I wanted to make sure our school colors were represented”
The H hallway will not be finished until students return to school in the fall of 2019. The painting will be continued in a similar fashion all the way to the set of the double doors near the end of the hall.
Students have enjoyed the gradual makeover as new paint is slowly being added.
“The painting of the H hallway created a lot of curiosity,” East junior Breckin Strand said. “I walk down that hallway everyday, and I found the consistent changes really intriguing.”
In addition to the H hallway, the wall outside of the clinic entrance has also received new decorations. A new metal sign was made by students in the the schools’ manufacturing capstone class that reads ‘CLINIC’ in bold letters.
“Mr. Gitter (and his students) made the sign and it didn’t stand out, so we mixed it up with some color,” Hamilton said. “We decided to go with red for first aid and then put a little black behind it so it pops.”
Schlass hopes to add more color to the school in future years.
“I am breaking out of this everything’s-got-to-be-eggshell-white mold,” Schlass said. “As long as we’ve got some money budgeted for paint, I would love to see the whole building splashed with more paint. It makes you feel feel good and happy.”
(Top image: Maintenance worker Dave Hamilton paints the East wall of the H hallway on Jan. 16. Photo by Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief.)