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Funds will provide hydration stations and electronic message board

May 30, 2017

Freshman+Leila+Okhravi+looks+forward+to+a+better+method+for+filling+her+water+bottle.+
Freshman Leila Okhravi looks forward to a better method for filling her water bottle.

Freshman Leila Okhravi looks forward to a better method for filling her water bottle.

Special to the Sentinel

Special to the Sentinel

Freshman Leila Okhravi looks forward to a better method for filling her water bottle.

Refilling reusable water bottles will be a little easier and quicker next year.

Northgate is expecting two high-tech additions that will make filling reusable water bottles with fresh water easier and better promote school events and news.  Hydration stations and an electronic message board, are the newest plans being incorporated into campus life, thanks to an unused student account that will be tapped for the planned school improvements.

Leadership students and school officials worked together for several months how to best spend some of the $130,000 that has been in a dormant school student account for a decade or more.

A hydration station is a water fountain designed to fill up water bottles quickly and easily with filtered water. Each one will cost around $5,000 to $6,000, and Northgate is planning on getting three to five stations, Leadership teacher Kourtnie Howerton said last week.

“I think it’s great,” said freshman Leila Okhravi, upon hearing of the plan. “Now I make a mess refilling my bottle, and refilling is better than bringing two plastic water bottles.”

ASB President Eugene Lee said he supports the decision for both purchases. “Schools like Acalanes and Las Lomas have hydration stations. They are so efficient, and it’s great to use reusable water bottles,” said Lee, a senior.

An electronic marquee will allow multiple lighted rotating messages, replacing the existing manual marquee. It is an estimated $25,000. The rest of the money for the marquee will come from graduated classes that designated leftover class funds for a news message board.

The marquee outside the front of the school will soon be replaced for an electronic one.

Howerton said that students sought extensive input and worked with Vice Principal Ben Campopiano, head of facilities at Northgate. She said the improvements have the support of all of the school administrators.

Depending on final approvals, the water stations could be ready early next school year, and the message board could be purchased and installed next year. The plan was approved by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District officials, with support and assistance from Principal Michael McAlister, Howerton added.

“It’s quite a lengthy process. But it is all approved and in the works,” said Howerton.

ASB president Lee’s only regret about the water stations is that he is graduating. “I’ll come back for a visit and use it,” he said.

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