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A student columnist asks: Will traditions such as 'Color Wars' have the same impact in the new school?

PMG FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Columnist: Students put up with quite a lot of quirkiness at the old Lincoln High School.There are bound to be some quirky and maybe outdated aspects of a school built in 1952. The current Lincoln building was erected at that time and is certainly no exception.

The building has withstood the test of seventy years of wear and tear from high school students. Although the bathrooms may be falling apart and tiles may be missing from the ceilings, the old Lincoln building carries a sort of charm that surely will be missed. As Lincoln receives its new building next fall and the current building gets torn down for the new athletic fields, thousands of students and alums will miss the ever-present homeliness of the old Lincoln building.

For so many students, the run-down and dusty gym of the current building will be bittersweet to lose as they move into an expansive modern gym in the new school. Junior Aidan Shuler described how the current gym feels like a unique part of Lincoln's identity.

"The gym feels cozy and we have all had so many warm memories in that space," Shuler said. "The chipped red-and-white checkered pattern makes it feel so special and just Lincoln."

Aspects of Lincoln like that checkered pattern in the gym unfortunately will be lost to the new building. Although spaces like the gym and studio spaces for music will be considerably upgraded and modernized in the new building, the current spaces for the arts provide a sense of character that students really connect to. Junior's Aarav Shah has made a deep connection with these rooms of the arts.

The gym is a central contributor to the theme of community and authenticity that comes with the current Lincoln building. Students, while they are not slow to complain about the outdated features, are proud of the building. It defines all the students and staff at Lincoln and the community is built on a shared pride for these old halls and classrooms. Sophomore Sam Banks will miss the overall vibe that the school contributes.

"It just has a vintage style that is irreplaceable. … I think we all buy into that vibe," Banks said.

Pieces of the current Lincoln will be missed even outside the building. The whole block that will be transformed has provided so many good times for Lincoln students that will not be forgotten. Lincoln student Luke Denton highlighted how the balcony in front of the current building will be stripped of a legendary skating spot for not only Lincoln students, but the Portland community.

Some traditions within the Lincoln community will never be the same as the current building passes, including Color Wars. The current Lincoln building comprises four main halls, one for each grade where the vast majority of that grade's students have their lockers. For a spirit assembly in the fall, each grade is assigned a color and they dress and decorate their hall with that color, competing with the other grades. It is an integral part of the school year at Lincoln.

"The dividing hallways make spirit week," Claire Rochelois, junior, said. "Decorating the halls with your class is so valuable for building our community."

With the new building having six stories and no defined lines between each grade's hall, it is unclear if Color Wars will be the same or even be able to happen. Traditions like these that have been tailormade for the Lincoln building over decades, will be disrupted.

Change is coming to Lincoln and the outdated aspects of Lincoln High School will be remedied by the new state-of-the-art building opening up next fall. But with that change Lincoln students also will lose the building that has brought them together for over 70 years. New memories will be formed, but they won't be able to compare the authentic and genuine memories made here in the current Lincoln building.

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