Student to Student
Most kids at Park City High School to realize that despite our complaints due to construction it is now too far along to turn back. But is it fair that some 600 kids will suffer for a remodeled high school that none of us will ever see or be able to appreciate? The question for many parents and students is just how many gas leaks and flooded class rooms is too much? Is the good of future classes worth tampering with the education of this class?
Last year during the advanced placement U.S. government test, the test kids worked all year for and paid $80 to take, there was a tractor backing up, complete with rumbling and beeping noises.
This is the kind of constant disruption and distraction Park City High School students have been forced to endure and while it may have not significantly hurt these test takers it definitely didn’t help. When it started raining mid-September, the makeshift hallway connecting the cafeteria to the remaining indoor classroom began to collapse and raincoats were needed for indoors and outdoors due to the leaks.
Mr. Nagel’s room had water running down the walls and the school was a maze of trash cans put out to collect the rain. Lots of water dumped into Mr. Winterer’s room due to a problem with the heater, forcing him to end class early and move into Mr. Mulicks room.
In a class of 21 seniors more than half said that the construction has distracted them from their learning on more than one occasion.
Emily Spencer said that "the construction has definitely distracted me, the school used to be a piece of crap, but now it’s a leaky cardboard box."
Regardless of what the problem is, all these situations cause teachers to stop teaching to address the issue move the class. Even just the everyday construction provides limitless distractions for already A.D.D. teenagers. According to one student, Mrs. Carley was continuously being forced to stop her class last year so that she could call the office and ask the workers to wait until lunch to use their jack hammers. Teachers get sidetracked, tests get postponed due to unstable conditions and school gets canceled due to gas leaks. All this causes kids to be cheated out of the main purpose of school so that in five years students will be able to enjoy kivas and wider hallways.
The main question on everyone’s mind is whether it will all be worth it. It is hard for many seniors and juniors to think so, since they will never be able to appreciate it, but the teachers have a more optimistic view. In Mr. Fleming’s class, five out of 21 seniors thought the construction will be worth it. Mr. Fleming was quick to add that it will be worth it for the future, two years of soggy carpet will equal a better school for hundreds of kids to come.
Not all students are bitter about the conditions. Brooke Keene, a senior, agrees with Mr. Fleming,
"I guess it’s worth suffering since my brother and sister will enjoy it," she said.
The majority of kids just want to be able to go to school without the hassle of shoving through one packed hallway to get to class or constantly smelling mildew. Everyone knows the people in charge had the best intentions when they decided to bless Park City with a better high school, but was there a better way of going about it. Tearing down the whole school and putting all teachers in the cozy and quiet trailers is a frequently heard suggestion when students are asked what they would have done if they were in charge of construction. This is ironic. When the trailers first arrived most kids snubbed their noses at the thought of having to walk to trailers.
The teachers who are arguably the most put out by construction are staying optimistic, hoping that moving their stuff and putting up with the construction casualties will result in the classroom of their dreams. English teacher Mr. Potts summed it up the best saying, "Yes, I think construction has impacted some of the students education, it hasn’t changed my teaching, though. It’s certainly a distraction and it’s sad that the students who are going through the turmoil won’t benefit."
So parents, as you get lost on your way to student teacher conferences and find drops of rain falling as you wind your way through the hallway, be sure to take a deep breath, note the mildew and dust-filled air and be more sympathetic next time your student complains about school.
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