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The Underutilized Lockers at SHHS

Too small for storage yet they fill the hallways, what’s the deal?
Kaylee Renski

The high school’s lockers, which have been here since the school was built in the 1950s, are scheduled to be replaced in the near future. For many students, this change feels long overdue. Although the lockers are technically in working order, they aren’t in great shape and do not have the space for coats, backpacks, or even textbooks. For this reason, as well as a lack of time during passing periods, most students never use their lockers and see them as a waste of space.

According to Principal Elizabeth Wood, replacing the lockers has been on the capital improvement plan for some time. However, the job is complicated by the fact that there is no floor underneath them, so the floors would need to be replaced as well. It is also difficult to estimate the cost of such a project, due to the unknown damage of the floors and inflation.

Being the oldest building in the district, the high school requires a lot of maintenance to keep it safe for students.

“I think there are things that just need updating on a regular basis that we need to consider, and the lockers are certainly one of them,” said Wood.

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Locker width measures to about 7in (Kaylee Renski)

To prevent another mold catastrophe like what happened a few years ago, preventing built-up moisture is the number one concern in the capital improvements budget. Whatever is most crucial to health and safety in the building takes priority. Right now, the first on this list is the HVAC system. After the heating and AC are improved, the lockers and floors are next on the 5-year plan.

Junior Jack Harrison offered some insights on the benefits and drawbacks of using the lockers as they are now. Harrison uses his lockers to store his coat, books, and anything else he doesn’t want to weigh down his bag. However, he usually only gets the chance to use his locker in the morning, as he finds there isn’t enough time to during passing periods.

“I like the idea of bigger lockers… but I think part of the reason students don’t use them is a time issue,” said Harrison. Because of the lack of time between periods, students end up rushing to their next class and crowding the halls. With all that human traffic, accessing the lockers becomes problematic. Harrison said he finds the size of the lockers inconvenient. If they were bigger, he would like to store things like winter boots inside.

Harrison also said that a number of area schools only have 4 classes a day, and would prefer this to our current system. “Six classes during the day is a lot to have. Some other schools only have four,” he said. “I think having four classes a day would allow students to use [the lockers] a little more.”

Students study in the SHHS halls (Isiah James)

Another student, sophomore Lochlan Sentenn agrees with the sentiment that aside from the size of the lockers, most of the deterrent from using them is the chaotic nature of the hallways. He explains that accessing your locker just isn’t practical during passing time.

“If I want to use my locker, I have to be in the way of people traffic. There’s no space,” said Sentenn. He has never used his locker but agrees that more passing time would help and make him more likely to do so.

Taking all this into account, it seems replacing the lockers with larger more functional ones may not be enough to encourage student use of them. Along with the updated size, the school may also need to rearrange its schedule in a way that lends itself additional time between passing periods in order to create calmer hallways.

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