The Stink Is Gone: School Restrooms Get A Facelift


Dennise Muñoz

The restroom renovations were part of the EPISD bond project. The new design has generated mixed emotions from students.

Kimberly Kocian and Marijose Ramirez

A year ago, students at El Paso High would describe the restrooms as, “disgusting, unsanitary, unpleasant, and intolerable.” This year, students had a much different opinion on the matter.

 “Very nice, it doesn’t even look like El Paso High when you walk in,” Junior, Gilberto Orozco said. 

For the last couple of years the restrooms have been known to need an upgrade.

“Well, they definitely do need to be remodeled, a lot of the sinks do not work and same with the toilets, and the stalls are really small,” Sophomore, Madison Lewis said back in April before the face-lift. 

Principal Mark Paz said the contractor that is working on the restrooms is,  “F.T. James”. The engineering for the bathrooms are Jacobs and Jacobs are in charge of overseeing all the projects and set the dates and scheduling. 

The first and second floor restrooms were the first project the school tackled on. The projects endured the entire summer and into the school year catching some students by surprise.

“I didn’t know because they did not tell anyone, they didn’t announce it on the announcements or send out a letter to anyone,” Junior, Sergio Borunda said.

Dennise Muñoz
The century-old building had its second floor restrooms gutted for the remodeling that concluded in September of 2019. The older design was in dire need of a facelift.

Other students were aware of the new bathrooms and had heard about it from their friends.

 “Yes I did know, I heard it from administration and students were talking about it” Junior,” Brynna Watkins said.

El Paso High got a new look to it and everyone has different opinions on the new layout.  Some underclassmen do not mind the new look and actually like the new additions. Compared to the upperclassmen that feel like the style is too modern and changed, especially the new hand dryer system. 

Nevertheless, some students at El Paso High like the new modern style of the bathrooms.

 “I think it’s good, you walk in and it’s a different place and it looks clean and nice” Sophomore, Camille Davis said.

Other students said the traditional style of El Paso High is being erased.

The new bathrooms ditched the school colors that adorned them before, students say that El Paso High is becoming more modern.

“The traditional style is definitely being destroyed because EPHS is known as like this old school, and when you see airport looking bathrooms its out of place,” Watkins said. 

Another update was the discarding of paper towel dispensers that have now been replaced by air dryers.

“I hate that, because when I need paper towels there is no where that I can go to get them and i can’t use toilet paper because it disintegrates faster than paper towels,” Mejia said.

A sentiment not all students share. The change is in part helping reduce the waste of paper.

“I feel like it is a good decision because we are losing a lot of trees and they are a good supply of oxygen to the world so we are conserving trees by switching,” Orozco said.

The third floor restroom are still in the plans to get remodeled, but will be placed on hold until the summer of 2020.

“We will probably have to wait for the summer to re-do the third floor bathrooms because we’re going to get brand new elevators which are ADA-compliant and the new elevator will take two feet from the classrooms by the elevator,” Principal Paz said.

However, the fourth floor restrooms are expected to get started as soon as Thanksgiving. The construction company, Jacobs and Jacobs meets weekly with Mr. Paz to discuss the progress. Approval of the starting date is still pending. 

As construction continues around the school, it is expected for more projects to be completed that include new tennis courts, fine arts building, and soon-to-open alumni museum. Despite everything, students at El Paso High are excited to be getting their bathrooms remodeled.

 “I think it looks pretty good, although it does not match the architecture of EPHS but it is nice and pretty,” senior, Paige Pearson said. 

Dennise Muñoz
All new restrooms have hand air dryers and will no longer offer paper towels to reduce waste.