The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

$400,000 MAKEOVER: Most students, staff like new look of black lockers, neutral gray-white on all buildings, larger signage

Asaph Li
Freshman Eli Anizor puts his belongings into his designated locker between the 20s and 40s buildings during lunch Tuesday, Sept. 26. Over the summer school officials contracted with Color New Co. and spent $390,000 to paint the lockers black and changed the colors on all buildings to a neutral gray-white.

This is the first of a three-part series on the extensive changes to Sunny Hills facilities over the summer and during part of August after the 2023-2024 school year started. The Accolade will focus first on the new paint color of campus buildings, walls and lockers.

Changed building colors from yellow-white (and red for the engineering classrooms) to a neutral gray-white.

Repainted lockers from ivory to black.

New room number/building directional signs.

Students and staff returning to Sunny Hills for the start of the 2023-2024 school year noticed such upgrades, which school officials said occurred mostly throughout the summer and cost the Fullerton Joint Union High School District up to $400,000. 

According to an Accolade poll administered from Wednesday, Aug. 16-Wednesday, Aug. 23, 55% out of 125 respondents approved of the school’s new vibe, while 16% indicated that didn’t like the change; 29% had no opinion. 

“I really like how the school did the colors now; it looks very nice,” junior Dylyn Williams said. “I didn’t realize, ‘Oh, we should change the locker colors,’ until it happened, and it just made the school way better because it accentuated the school colors.”

Sophomore Tyler Schroeder is also pleased with the new changes and how they freshen up the school.

“The changes are nice since it makes everything just seem more new and unkempt, though I don’t think they were necessary since the school was just fine before too,” Schroeder said.

However, junior David Tapia, who frequently walks by the building during passing period, said he found the change so shocking that it immediately caught his attention.

“The building was the first thing I noticed the change for,” Tapia said. “Honestly I like the older red one more, although I find my friends didn’t like it. But the red one was just iconic.”

According to a Fullerton Joint Union High School District report, the school board approved Tuesday, Sept. 12, of paying Los Angeles-based Color New Co. $390,000 upon its completion of painting over the lockers and all buildings and walls.

An estimated $10,000 was spent on Fullerton’s Fastsigns to create and put up the new signage, assistant principal of instructions and operations Murrietta said.

The signage is different for the doors across campus and displays either the “SH” logo or a Lancer head.


Discussions regarding the campus changes began in January 2023 when administrators and the school’s leadership team gathered to discuss the new exterior paint job for the school following maintenance schedules preset by the district’s Facilities and Operations Department, Murrietta said.

“It just kind of goes in line with keeping our facilities in a nice, upgraded condition where students are proud to be here,” Murrietta said. “We want to ensure that we’re always just doing our best to put some effort and time into upgrading and keeping our facilities looking really nice.”

I didn’t realize, ‘Oh, we should change the locker colors,’ until it happened, and it just made the school way better because it accentuated the school colors.”

— junior Dylyn Williams

Administrators and those in the leadership team initially proposed three different colors — the school’s original yellow-toned white, a light gray and a neutral gray-white — to repaint the entire school, she said.

Those three color schemes were then temporarily displayed around March on the south side of the library wall to get verbal feedback from staff members, Murrietta said.

Principal Craig Weinreich then sent out updates in his weekly digital newsletter toward the end of the school year about the renovations that would take place on campus, including how staff can provide feedback about the three color options, she said.

“It was just saying that ‘We’re going to put the colors up, take a look and let us know if you have an opinion’; it was a more informal process, and we just used word of mouth,” the assistant principal said.

After receiving comments from the SH faculty and non-teaching staff, it was agreed at the end of the spring semester to go with the neutral gray-white color for all campus buildings and walls, Murrietta said.

The principal’s secretary, Patty Johnson, witnessed the changes taking place while she was working during the summer school sessions.

“I just think it freshened everything up; everything looks nice and new,” Johnson said. “I love the black accents, especially on the lockers.”

The previously ivory lockers were painted black in a five-week process that started on Monday, Aug. 5, and the color was chosen because of how well it contrasted with the white buildings, Murrietta said.

We want to ensure that we’re always just doing our best to put some effort and time into upgrading and keeping our facilities looking really nice.

— assistant principal Sarah Murrietta

Along with the fresh new layers of paint, the school took the opportunity to change the Engineering Pathways to Innovation & Change [EPIC] building from its old maroon to the same neutral-gray white color as the rest of the school.

Although the faculty originally suggested painting the building black, district officials said the direct sunlight would cause the color to fade, the assistant principal said.

“I love the new color; we always stood out over here and we didn’t seem to match the campus,” said Room 408 Advanced Placement Statistics teacher Kari Morita, who was teaching at the school when the building was originally made and got its red maroon color.

Sophomore Kyle Jung, who takes fifth period Intro to Engineering Design, has been familiar with the building since his freshman year.

“Back when the building was red, it was very loud and it just didn’t fit in with the sea of white buildings,” Jung said. “It looks more modernized and a lot more in the theme of what Sunny Hills buildings look like.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Accolade
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sunny Hills High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Irene Park
Irene Park, Copy Editor
After spending her freshman year in the Journalism 1 class, sophomore Irene Park takes on the role of one of the copy editors of The Accolade. Park looks forward to contributing to the publication by enhancing reporters' stories. As a cub reporter, she received a Best of SNO award for her story about the unique ways some teachers commemorate Memorial Day. Park plans to strengthen her writing abilities and balance her growing workload while fostering new friendships. Outside of The Accolade, she is the sophomore president of the Korean Culture Club and actively participates in other clubs. In her free time, she watches anime and plays the cello.
Donate to The Accolade
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Accolade Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *