Solon High School’s New Media Wellness Center

A chair and a plant in the back section of the media wellness center.

Hannah Levenson

A chair and a plant in the back section of the media wellness center.

Hannah Levenson, Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of the summer, former study hall monitor, Michelle Shene, came up with a new vision for the media center. In the past, the media center consisted of rows of wooden tables, wooden chairs and solo study cubicles. Artwork was only featured during the art show in the spring. Shene, who has a master’s degree in Wellness, wished for a media center that had lighting more suited for reading with comfortable spaces students could relax in.

“I just felt like the space was kind of being underutilized,” Shene said. “It was a great space, and it had so much potential, and I thought kids could benefit from having [the space I created] for them.”

Shene shared her ideas with SHS principal Erin Short, and then got approval with a budget from the Solon School Board of Education. Shene began the project over the summer with some hired help.

Shene took inspiration from modern spaces in colleges– she was drawn to how college spaces are often designed to be communal and to encourage group settings.

“When you walk into a college dorm or classrooms in college,” Shene said. “You see like these little seating areas and apartment complexes on campuses have these communal spaces. A place where kids could come and work together and still have that calming, kind of updated, college kind of look.”

The activities station in the media wellness center. (Hannah Levenson)

The media wellness center is primarily divided into two main sections. The front section of the media center has quiet talk. The back area of the media center is a silent study area, separated off by wall dividers. The back section of the media center also features an activities station. The station includes art supplies, fidget toys, crossword puzzles, coloring sheets, DIY builds and plants.

To add to comfortability, Shene ordered a rug and blankets for students to use and sit on, and added a mural etc.. The media wellness center also features both live and fake plants. Shene also added a mural of a sunset and a moss art piece to the walls.

SHS Freshman Zoe Russell likes the cool-color theme of the media wellness center and is looking forward to opportunities to use it throughout her high school years. SHS senior Andrew Hall believes that the new media wellness center looks better in comparison to the old media center he knew in his underclassmen years.

“I feel like it was a good change and a good use of the space,” Hall said. “Before renovations, it wasn’t much, it was just used for tables and tutoring.”

The blue lighting and couches section at the back of the media center. (Hannah Levenson)

If students would like to utilize the media wellness center, underclassmen study hall is limited to 20 spots per a period, and will need to sign out in the study hall. In the senior commons study hall, spots are limited to 20 seniors and they will need to sign out with the senior commons’ monitor. The media wellness center is also open before school and closes at 4 p.m.