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An Artistic Upgrade for MBHS

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Measure D has deeply impacted MBHS campus life the last few years, adding new and improved parts of our school such as the pool and the currently in process administration building. One of Measure D’s biggest feats yet on our campus is the J-Wing. The digital and visual arts have blossomed at MBHS, and all the students and staff who will be able to utilize this building seem very enthusiastic. Multiple classes will move into the J-Wing next year, including photography, engineering, and video production. There will be three primary teachers who will move into the J-Wing as of next year: Ms. Osborne, Mr. Halverson, and Ms. Haener. In an interview, Meredith Haener, former graphic design major, member of the IATSE film union in San Diego, sound utility person on Veronica Mars: Teen Detective PI, soap opera boom operator, and now digital arts teacher at Morro Bay High, explained that her primary areas to work next year will be the Mac Lab (a computer lab with many advanced Mac computers for photo software and more) as well as a green screen room, a portrait studio, and many others.

Haener noted that “the green screen room is incredible.” One feature she highlighted is “a telecaster for live editing; meaning that it’s really good for news broadcasting.”  Haener is also excited about the capability of having “4 different cameras feeding into the software” so that news reports could go between shots and even include live reports from outside. For example, students could be in the green screen room with three different camera angles reporting on a football game while a camera could be out on the field filming live. The software could then produce a live recording using footage from all the cameras. “What we want to do with it is uncertain,” stated Haener. “Students need to be trained in it, but I want to use it for journalism, ASB, announcements, dance performances, Art After Dark, maybe seasonal recaps of sports and events, announce winners in FFA, Skills USA, etc…students in the TV Video and Production class will get training on it…we have that software and we have training planned for it.”

On top of the amazing green screen room, Haener highlighted a few other features, her favorite being “the height of the building and the skylights. It feels like an open warehouse.” It seemed that her hope is for students from all different artistic backgrounds and with many different aspirations to be able to utilize the J-Wing. Students in the visual arts classes will have some new and professional features in their classes. Haener noted that “the ceramics studio has block tables to stand on. We (also) have drawing desks that move so you can have a sort of drafting table.”

On top of the visual arts students who will be able to utilize advanced equipment in the J-Wing, Haener even mentioned that the building has a “whisper room which is soundproof and really good for recording sound so student artists can get a professional recording of themselves singing or playing music.” Ultimately, there are opportunities for students, artists, and classes of all kinds to enjoy all that this new building has to offer.

This new art building is set to have a grand opening ceremony on May 2 at the MBHS Open House. The grand opening ceremony, according to Haener, will feature speeches from MBHS principal, Dr. Pruitt, and superintendent, Mr. Prater. The ceremony will also include a ribbon cutting, demonstrations in the engineering room, and the annual Open House student art show. This will be the first step in introducing our very advanced art hall into the school.

The 100 and 200 Halls are next to go under Measure D construction, and the new administration building is in production as of now. Not only are students enthusiastic to work in the J-Wing, but some of the advanced technology, like the new CNC machine for engineering have sparked an interest in “people from outside in the community (who) want to come in and get training on…such an elite machine,” stated Haener. Overall, the J-Wing is a very exciting addition to the Morro Bay High School art department and to the school and community as a whole.

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