New Renovations Give OHS Bathrooms a Fresh, Modern Look

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The bathrooms in the cafeteria and Commons areas have been thoroughly modernized.

Over the summer of 2022, Osbourn High School renovated some of the school’s bathrooms. The new bathrooms have a whole new look and feel. Some of the upgrades include wider and longer stall doors and walls, motion-detective soap dispensers, wider and slanted mirrors, and an overall cleaner and visually pleasing appearance and design. 

Mr. Andy Hawkins, director of Operations for Manassas City Public Schools, said the renovations cost approximately $250,000 and are the beginning of a plan to renovate all of the restrooms in the school.

“The restrooms at OHS have become outdated and are in need of renovation. Since these restrooms were the first of what we see as a series of renovations, we took the time to have them professionally designed to be aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean (epoxy floors and a portion of the walls), and hands-free (sanitization purposes). We also replaced the drop ceilings with solid ceilings to prevent the concealment of items that probably should not be at school anyway and smoke/vape detectors,” said Hawkins in an email response. “As I said earlier, we hope that these renovated restrooms will become the model for future renovations elsewhere in OHS and other schools throughout the division,” he added.

Many students appreciate the nice changes to the bathrooms, with new features and an overall cleaner and more high-quality atmosphere. “I like the automatic soap dispensers next to the sinks. The new air dryers are also nice. I also like the slanted mirrors as they make it easier to see for short people,” said senior Ryan Wescott. Her friend and fellow senior, Natalie Shelton, added “I like the floors and the walls and the color scheme. It is much more visually pleasing, although the automatic toilet flushing is a slightly annoying change.” 

“I think they’re bougie, they’re giving off fancy rest stop bathroom vibes. You know, like those bathrooms in the middle of the highway that are very upscale and automatic and you don’t even have to touch anything. Yes [they should renovate the rest of the bathrooms]. Some of the bathrooms in the A-Wing look bad, and they should be improved as well, said sophomore Brissia Beltran Rodriguez.

Some students said the renovations show that the construction crews took pride in their work.

“I think it’s good, they’re nice I guess. They actually changed the bathrooms and it actually looks nice and it looks like they really care about the bathrooms,”  said Sol (Ximena) Flores, a sophomore.

Other students said some of the renovations made them think they were not actually inside a school building.

“I think that the one downstairs, closest to the second entrance, kinda looks like a waterpark bathroom in a way or maybe a hotel bathroom, and I’m not really into that. I think the color choice is really great, however, what I really don’t love is the texture on the bathroom floors and walls. It’s kinda weird, and I’m just really not that into it,” said sophomore Natalie Cook.

When looking at the quality and appearance of the bathrooms before the improvements, the student population can definitely agree they were necessary. The money spent on these renovations was clearly worthwhile. The vaping issue was taken into consideration when planning the upgrades, as now there are vaping monitors that will go off any time small traces of smoke are detected in the bathrooms. This has discouraged vaping, even if just in the bathrooms that added this feature. 

The most recurring positive feedback about the bathrooms seems to revolve around the drastic improvement of privacy. “I like the new bathrooms because they give us more privacy,” said junior Alex Turner-Brock.

“They’re just more spacious instead of being cramped,” Jesse Kendra, a senior, stated. “They just look better. They look cleaner. They made the cracks between the stall walls smaller for more privacy.” 

Some students feel like the wrong bathrooms have been renovated, specifically because of the lack of use in the area where the renovations occurred. “When you come into the main entrance, to the Academic Wing, there need to be renovations to those bathrooms. People mostly use the bathrooms there more than the ones that were renovated,” suggests Senior Kayla Rodriguez.

Sophomore Brissia Beltran Rodriguez added “Yes, [they should renovate the rest of the bathrooms]. Some of the bathrooms in the A-Wing look bad, and they should be updated.” 

More renovations actually are in the works at OHS, and may come as soon as next summer.

“Next summer we are planning on renovations elsewhere in OHS and other schools throughout the division. Next summer we are planning on the renovation of four additional restrooms in the West Wing of OHS. There are two behind the teacher workroom (aka bullpen) and two more further down the hallway near some special education classrooms,” explained Mr. Andy Hawkins via email.