Contributing reporters: Sarah Reidland, Charlene Martinez and Joshua Duran
After 56 years of being El Paso's finest in an outdated building, the school faces its most difficult challenge yet. Many students were eager to comment on their first week navigating the grounds at Fort Eastwood.
This year started with a clean slate for all students. They said that finding their way around on the first day was rough.
Although the school lacked freshmen on campus this year, seniors seemed to be just as lost as they were on their respective first days.
Senior Brianna Salais said that she still has trouble getting around even after the first couple days.
"I think I have gotten lost about three times a day," Salais said. "I've learned that all portables look exactly the same."
Senior Maria Montoya said that she believes it will be a great year despite all the confusion this first week.
"It was crazy and a bit awkward trying to figure out where everything was," Montoya said. "After Monday I was more comfortable and started enjoying my time at Fort Eastwood."
Junior Eliana Britton said that she sees positive things coming from the big change.
"It was different but good to see all the faculty and students come together through it all," Britton said.
Senior Irvin Armendariz said that his first week at the Fort was very different from his past years at the school.
"Obviously the environment isn't the same but I can still say that the school pride is still as high as it was before we left for summer break," Armendariz said.
Senior Shelby Mounsey said that she went into the school year with an
open mind, and has enjoyed the new experience.
"My first week has been really good," Mounsey said. "It's not as bad as everybody thought it was going to be."
Sophomore Isaac Acosta said that he came into Fort Eastwood on the first day with the same mindset as Mounsey.
"It was overwhelming just coming to Eastwood and not fully expecting what was going on," Acosta said. "It seemed more like a fantasy than reality."
Sophomore Haley Albert said that she was very intrigued to see how the transition came along given all the work put into it.
"It was very confusing yet impressive," Albert said. "I was very surprised to see how all the people working on this project were able to pull this off."
Some students were a little intimidated by all the long journeys to classes that weren't part of the usual routine to which they are accustomed.
Sophomore Emilie Valdiviezo described her experience in three words:
"Scary, different, and interesting," Valdiviezo said.
Junior James Salazar said that he believes all the walking will soon become normal to him.
"Fort Eastwood has been a very weird experience," Salazar said. "I'm not a big fan of all the walking but I'm slowly adjusting to it."
Sophomore Kaylee Smith has also been faced with the same problem.
"The amount of walking has affected how I choose my shoes in the morning now," Smith said.
Senior Sydnie Smith says that although the walks to class are long, the setup does still have benefits.
"There's a lot of open space rather than crowded hallways or chaotic accidents," Smith said. "I can easily get to all my classes now without worrying about time."
Smith said that watching the school being demolished has brought on a bitter nostalgia.
"So many memories happened in our old building and now we literally get to watch it crumble every day right in front of us," Smith said. "It is a lot of getting used to, but I know we'll make it work."
Despite all the physical differences resulting from the change, senior Elizabeth Mendoza has pointed out something special for all other seniors to reflect on.
"I have come to the realization that I am part of a unique senior class," Mendoza said.
Through the changes and adjustments that go along with the school's growth, Trooper spirit remains high as El Paso's finest face the challenges of progress.