New Year, New Room!

Marisa Brown

Photo courtesy of Marisa Brown

Two days before Christmas break, construction started on a project that had been in the works since last summer, the redesign of the Graphic Design Room.

The room’s redesign is the first since 2001, when the graphic design and photography teacher, Mrs. Amacher, first started working at James Caldwell High School. Back in 2001, the room was originally designed as a multipurpose room in order to teach the classes Draw-Paint Design, Weaving, and eventually Graphic Design. Laptops were implemented to suffice the needs of the graphic design class, but also so that they wouldn’t get in the way of the two other classes occupying the room. For years, former teacher Kathy Schultz ran the Weaving program, but upon her retirement, the Weaving program retired with her, redesignating the room as a Graphic Design and Painting and Drawing room. 

To keep the room as a flexible space, laptops were utilized to be able to free up tablespace. New tables were installed at that time but the rest of the room remained untouched. When the multipurpose room became strictly the Graphic Design and Photography room, the laptops’ original multidisciplinary purposes ceased to exist, and they eventually became a hindrance rather than an advantage. 

According to Mrs. Amacher, what made the laptops a disadvantage is that they no longer “served the needs of the Graphic Design and Photography programs as well as they did in the past.” Every day, students would spend around 20 minutes of class time taking out laptops, reloading their programs, waiting for their projects to open, saving them, and then putting the laptops away. Mrs. Amacher explains that “because the programs are web-based, it takes a lot of time to save and upload because of the WiFi.” While the laptops still allowed students to use great programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make wonderful work, they wasted time, impeding

Photo courtesy of Marisa Brown

students’ ability to work for longer periods and create more projects. Often students would find that their projects hadn’t been saved correctly, or even at all, on the laptops which was very frustrating. 

To combat these issues and allow students to have an even better experience in class, the school has purchased new Apple iMacs for the room.

Photo courtesy of Marisa Brown

Implementing the new iMacs will reduce the time it takes for students to save and reopen their projects, giving them more time to create and work. “The Graphic Design program aspires to send committed students to art schools. Giving them the opportunity to use the best technology and programs, like the ones they will be using in college, will better prepare them for their future,” Amacher explains. 

Besides just the new iMacs, the room got a bit of a facelift with new paint, new flooring, new blue swivel chairs, new tables allowing students to continue working in groups, new bulletin boards, and a new desk for Mrs. Amacher. The room also got new cabinetry replacing the school’s original cabinets that were not able to be used as effectively as they could have been. Besides the new iMacs, one of the biggest additions was an island in the middle of the room, allowing Mrs. Amacher and her students a space to frame and work on completed projects. 

With great excitement from Mrs. Amacher and her students, the reconstruction of the Graphic Design Classroom is finally complete on January 13, 2023, and will be ready for students to use ASAP. As a Graphic Design student myself, I can’t wait to see the room finally done and use the new iMacs!