Border wall becomes second biggest wall story this week at NP

Tile map in auditorium lobby to be covered and replaced with modern features

The momentous mosaic map in to be covered up with a wall with a TV on it.

TOWAMENCIN – A part of our North Penn High School history, located in the lobby outside the auditorium is about to disappear. The mosaic map, a part of the original construction of NPHS, which opened its doors in 1971, has stood as a school landmark for decades and a practical resource for many students, staff, and guests. It will now make way for progress.

“We’ve been planning this for a couple years now; we started the planning with Dr. Bauer and it started coming together this year,” explained NPHS Principal Mr. Pete Nicholson.

Before winter break a wiring system and speakers were set up around the map. The wall that will cover the map will contain some images alongside a large TV that will be used for presentations, information, directions (similar to the map), and a permanent stage. The stage will be used for students to perform music and spoken words before big school events like winter ball, prom, concerts, and even before school.

Knight Crier
The original multi-colored tile mosaic in the NPHS lobby has been a feature since the building’s opening in 1971.

“Even with the renovations coming, and even if the board said yes, start on the high school on  Tuesday, we are looking at at least 2 years of planning, the proper permitting, and getting other things passed plus another 5-7 years of renovations,” said Nicholson. “So in the interim it gives a chance for years of students who can come in and use this stage for a number of things. I think we’ll make good use of it in the interim for the relatively small amount of money used to build the space.”

While there are many practical functions for this small renovation, the modernizing of the space has brought dispute among students and staff. Many are in agreement that it should not be covered and that another TV is not necessary in this location.   

“When you walk into the school you see the big mosaic map and I think covering it is harming the historical beauty of North Penn,” expressed class of 2019 president, Sarah Marshall.

Many other people have had similar feelings in response to it being covered.

“The mosaic is a memorable piece of North Penn history and I am sad to see it get covered up. I understand the need to build for the future but I will miss seeing those bright colored tiles that represented a piece of the past,” said 1998 NPHS grad and current Social Studies teacher Mrs. Jami Behm.

They have already started preparing for the dry wall and TV to be placed at the map even with the overwhelming majority of students and staff who want to preserve our school’s history.

“I understand their perspective…I get that people are nostalgic over pieces of our building and I really feel this is a place that can really serve our students. For me that’s what it is about and having an updated technological space with all the possibilities it can be used for, I think will be a space that most people will like. There are people that are really attached to it, but i think it’s right for our students and for the feel of what we want the building to feel like moving forward,” explained Nicholson.


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