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Buchtel's wrestling coach isn't giving up on his quest for a new wrestling room.
Robert Hubbard told the Akron Board of Education that he wants money to put in a wrestling training room at Buchtel Community Learning Center, which replaced the old Buchtel High School this past fall.
Hubbard says that having to share a gym with other teams means long hours for his wrestlers.
"Right now, we're practicing at 6 o'clock in the afternoon with varsity sports, so my kids are there probably 12 hours a day, they're not getting home until 8:30," Hubbard tells AkronNewsNow.com. "And then there's moving and removing mats, so that adds about 20 to 30 minutes on each day."
Hubbard says he repeatedly tried to get the proper rooms at the new Buchtel CLC before it was completed.
"And it wasn't because I didn't bring it up during the planning meetings, because I did," Hubbard says. "But they always told me...I said them they needed a wrestling room and a weight room in the new school, but they always said the funding wasn't there, they didn't have enough funding to do that."
Hubbard says his team has been successful in the City Series in spite of the facilities being substandard.
He suggest the APS board find money by using what the district saved by building the Buchtel CLC building on the former Buchtel practice field, and has an idea how a room can be added to the already built school.
"If we can put a pre-fab building up behind Buchtel, where there were some houses there that they tore down," Hubbard suggests, "They can make that the weight room or they can make that the wrestling room."
Akron's Buchtel High School will be transformed in the Fall, and over the weekend, students, staff and alumni said goodbye to the current school building.
Many said they'll miss the building, which will be replaced by the new Buchtel/Perkins Community Learning Center next school year.
Todd Webb - Buchtel Class of 1984 - has mixed emotions as he watches his old school close.
"I've got a lot of fine memories of Buchtel High School," Webb tells AkronNewsNow.com, "but you know, change is inevitable, and that's one thing we have to do, is we have to make some changes to progress in the future."
Joanne Jones - Buchtel Class of 1979 - remembers playing sports.
"My memories are in the old gym, of course, where I played basketball, and back when we had fields, and all my classrooms were up here," Jones recalls. "So, I hate to see the old building go away."
Buchtel High School head football coach Ricky Powers remembers the assemblies before the City Series championship games on Thanksgiving Day, though his teams have been aiming higher...in the state playoffs recently.
"Yeah, that's missed, that's well missed," Powers tells AkronNewsNow.com. "I'll tell you what, I wish we could bring that back because that was something that brought the whole community together, not just the Buchtel community, but everybody."
Buchtel High School head football coach Ricky Powers by MPWard
Current Buchtel students say they have fond memories in the old building. But they say there are definite advantages to the new CLC.
"I'm gonna look forward to the air conditioning," says a student who'll be a senior in the new building, "because we didn't have air conditioning in this old building."
Buchtel High School will become a "New Tech" school in the fall, and students will be joined by students from Perkins Middle School - in separate parts of the new complex.
The new Buchtel/Perkins CLC is being built directly behind the closing Buchtel building.
The current Buchtel High School building will then be demolished.
Students at Akron's Buchtel High School - mainly juniors - are learning how to navigate the options of paying for college.
On hand at a special assembly was U.S. Department of Education Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Jim Shelton, who explained the differences between loans and grants, among other items.
"They need to complete college because 80% of the jobs in the future are either going to require, whether it's a certificate, an associate or a bachelor's degree, some kind of post-secondary education and also that's how we're going to put our economy back on track." said Shelton.
Shelton says the Buchtel is representative of too many communities across the country that have a lower socioeconomic status, often leaving high school students or recent grads to think they would never be able to attend college.
Buchtel High School Principal Sonya Gordon has been at Buchtel for eight years, three as principal. She says the attitudes about college has changed among students over the years.
"I don't know that they thought it was an option before if they weren't an athlete or that top student," said Gordon. "So more and more kids are realizing, 'Hey I can do this as well,' so we bring back former students to talk to them about college and I see the enthusiasm."
Students during the special assembly voiced a variety of college majors from civil engineering to music and education to sports medicine.
The Akron Public Schools are planning what you could call a "reboot" for the renovation of Buchtel High School.
And to turn the new Buchtel Community Learning Center into Akron's first "New Tech" high school, the district is making a major hiring push for about 125 positions...looking for staff members who grasp the revised concept and are enthusiastic about it.
The "New Tech" concept at Buchtel will start with 9th and 10th graders when the new CLC opens next fall. It's being touted as "21st century learning" - project based learning that helps students solve problems with the help of full technology.
"Re-imagining teaching and learning" is the phrase used by Buchtel principal Sonya Gordon to describe the new concept.
All current Buchtel High School and Perkins Middle School staffers will have to reapply to remain at the new Buchtel CLC, which will house grades seven through twelve.
The district says it'll give first consideration to district employees, and will only hire from the outside if enough qualified candidates can't be found within the district.
Akron police are looking into break-ins and thefts at several lockers used by Buchtel High School football players.
The Beacon Journal reports that police say two boys, ages 14 and 15, are accused of stealing cash, cell phones and hats from the lockers during an after-school football practice earlier this month.
Police say one of the suspects is a Buchtel student, the other attends Firestone High.
The boys were arrested on juvenile breaking and entering and trespassing charges.
Police say the stolen money - about $217 - and two hats were not recovered, but the stolen cell phones were returned the day after the theft by a relative of one of the boys.
On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com
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