OPINION: Time for a upgrade

Science+classrooms+at+B-A+can+become+very+cramped%2C+especially+when+students+are+working+on+hands-on+activities.

Haley Campbell

Science classrooms at B-A can become very cramped, especially when students are working on hands-on activities.

For 30 years Bellwood-Antis hasn’t had many major additions to the high school building. There have been some costly renovations, like a new roof several years ago and air conditioning in the downstairs last summer, but some serious concerns still remain. The school has had spacing issues for decades. The lockers are too small for the several books that pile up. Most classrooms are too small for many group projects, forcing students to go out and crowd up the halls. Science classrooms like Mr. Martins have almost no space to teach science labs and with social distancing it becomes impossible. With new student transfers coming from other schools, classrooms and hallways are becoming more and more crowded. Parking space is limited for both teachers and students, making them have to walk a long distance to get into the building. And in today’s age of COVID-19, hallways are so tight that kids are almost piled on top of each other.

How can we solve this problem? The solution is to expand by adding an extra wing or two for the High school and middle school, making use of the field between Myers and the high school. This will make room for more classrooms that are bigger. This will also give the ability to put in more parking space for students. The only downside is the junior high football team practices in that field, but this can be easily fixed by moving the junior high to the baseball field or another school-owned field.

There would also be the issues of money. If the school were to expand it would cost in the millions of dollars, but as cramped as the school building is now, something needs to be done, so the question is whether to spend the money now or later, when the costs of contraction are sure to rise.

If this issue isn’t fixed the school population will continue to grow and classrooms will be too compact and not have enough space for more students. The hallways will be more packed and make it hard for students to get to their classes and spread illnesses around the school at an accelerated rate. Teachers will have issues doing science labs and group-based work.

According to National Center Educational Statistics the average functioning age of a small school is 15-20 years; across all schools reporting a major renovation since initial construction,  renovations occurred on an average of 11 years, meaning our school is more than due for some add-ons.

Two weeks ago the high school added a bright new sign at the main entrance. In the end we need a better improvement then just a sign. We need bigger lockers, more classrooms, bigger hallways, and bigger science classrooms.