The New Hillcrest High School Building is Lacking

Sienna Yang, Pawprint Staff Reporter

The new Hillcrest school building looks pretty on the outside. However, the inner structure and the design appear to be somewhat lacking, according to students.

Various sophomores have mentioned the stairwells and the lack of them. Besides simply getting to class on time, there aren’t enough places or enough space for students to get down to the first floor during fire alarms, of which there already has more than five. This could cause a severe safety issue, especially when there is an actual dangerous hazard in the building.

Adding to the issue of student safety is the fact that the stairs and platforms are already showing cracks in the concrete and the gap between the stairs and the walls. As a result, students have dropped and broken school or personal items. 

The large windows lining the hallways and the classrooms provide yet another safety hazard. The protocol for a lockdown situation is to turn off the lights and hide where the intruder can’t easily see the students, which would work if there weren’t huge windows displaying every part of the room.

The large windows also distract the students when in class, especially during the third period when students are either returning to class or going to lunch. 

Other things that could contribute to students’ learning distractions could be the collaborative area in the halls (area with the tables and booths in the hallway). Students working in the collaborative areas could prove a distraction to students in classrooms.

While there are a lot of concerns and complaints about the school building, some of them can be solved through relatively simple means.

If the large windows are distracting, then put blinds over them. This could also help during lockdown situations. The gaps between the stairs and the wall can be filled with the rubber sealant found between sidewalks.

Other concerns are not as quickly quieted, such as the lack of stairwells. A solution could be to provide fire escapes on specific windows of the building. However, this could prove to be even more hazardous to students in the long run.

With a few modifications, the building could be much safer and more attuned to student preferences.