Riley Murdock ‘15 and Cheyenne Kennard ‘15 – The “Blue Hallway” (home to the “500” rooms) resides well out of the way of most other areas, branching off from the end of the school. Since it is relatively isolated and houses very few classes, most students won’t find themselves walking down this hall for anything except a fire drill. Despite being home to the autos and arts classes, about half of the rooms in this hallway have have no tenants. Interested in filling a few vacancies, the administration has decided to move Romeo’s “Byting Bulldogs” Robotics team from the RETC to the high school, where they will find a new workshop area in room 508 to plan their designs and constructions.
The new room, although an unexpected gift for robotics team members, may bring up concerns for the painting and ceramics classes that previously occupied it. The arts classes are being moved to room 502/504a, a space once used for Home Economics, which has been empty for a number of years. Despite having to switch rooms, art teacher Lisa Joseph is enthusiastic about the change.
“I’m excited to now have a room with a window,” Mrs. Joseph said. “I think the room will be more homey, because the old art room is like a big garage.”
The cement floors, large door, and lack of natural light do admittedly exude an industrial air, which makes it an ideal location for the Robotics team to work. Additionally, team members, although currently residing at the RETC, believe they will have more freedom and more exposure with their new headquarters.
“The design space is a little smaller than where we were stationed before, but it’s all ours, and that’s pretty cool,” Byting Bulldogs member Ryanne Sutton ‘15 said. “It’ll be easier for the team to interact with the rest of the school this way, since all of the robots will be right there at the high school. Hopefully we can get robotics more widely recognized in the school now.”
The Byting Bulldogs, who were victors at 2013’s Michigan State Championship, will be having a change of leadership to go with the move: long-time coach Dan Gardner will pass the torch to math/science teacher Timothy Warneck as the team changes locales.
“We originally did our work off-site. Mr. Gardner, the administration, and our sponsors set the plan in motion to move us on-site,” Mr. Warneck said. “I think that overall, the students are pretty happy with it. We now have a great space; we have everything in one place, and it’s easier for younger students because everything is right at the high school now.”
While the team has met on occasion, this year’s competition has not yet begun: the “design goal” of the competition will be revealed on January 3rd, after which the teams will have 46 days to build a robot that will accomplish the designated goal.
The Byting Bulldogs have yet another season ahead of them, and are itching to get back to building. With their new home and refreshed ambitions, the team hopes to become state champions yet again.
If you want more information or are interested in joining the robotics team, get in touch with Mr. Warneck in room 101.