Whether it's because of a bad test score or part of an ill-conceived senior prank, taking a sledgehammer to the wall of a classroom is virtually every student's dream.
At Galt High School on Thursday, nine students got to live out this fantasy as part of a controlled demolition to make way for a state-of-the-art engineering and technology wing.
More than 50 students crammed into portable classrooms at Galt High School on Thursday to watch as their peers and faculty donned hard hats and used sledgehammers to smash holes into the walls to help make way for the future: A ultra-modern engineering wing that could be open by the start of the 2010-2011 school year.
The majority of the students were selected because they are seniors who have been in a wealth of engineering classes, and others were chosen at random, said Debra Crane, engineering and technology instructor.
Inside the classroom, yellow caution tape cornered off a section of the room and silver stripes were painted on the walls to inform where the studs on the wall were located. The walls had illustrations of targets, dragons and math equations drawn on them prior to the ceremony.
Crane took the first swings on the wall and was followed by John Rogers, who dried his hands on his jeans before picking up the 10-pound sledgehammer.
As Jake Farrar swung the hammer, a student in the back of the room asked when the candy was going to come out, which elicited laughter from the audience.
One student even wore a costume to the event. Brody Kluender wore coveralls and used a golf swing to tear holes into the drywall like it was wet tissue.
Each of the nine students earned a chance to take multiple swings at the wall, but the event was cut short when the rotation turned over and Rogers broke the sledgehammer when he struck it against the wall.
Undeterred, several students lingered after the ceremony and took the opportunity to rip segments of the drywall down with their bare hands.
Rogers didn't receive lacerations from the splintered wood and wore a wide smile as he talked about his memories of the room.
The rest of the demolition and construction will take place in stages throughout the summer. The new wing should have its ribbon cutting by August, Principal Charles Howell said.
Notable quotes"It's not very often you get to destroy part of the school and not get in trouble."
— Debra Crane, engineering and technology instructor
"These are good kids. We're not worried about them getting out
— Charles Howell, principal, Galt High School
"Even though it will be done after I graduate, I plan on coming
— Jon Rogers, senior
"I have done a lot of work in this room; I also have memories of
falling asleep during presentations."
— D.J. Finkes, senior