BY: LIAM ENGLISH
Students at Shenendehowa High School are stuck in the middle of a crossroad as daily hallway traffic appears to pose a continuous issue for interclass transit.
With a massive campus, housing almost 10,000 kids, and High School East alone encompassing grades 10-12, clearing a path for any singular student seems an insurmountable goal, and while the new principal of the High School insists the traffic is better than he expected, students and teachers continue to insist on its problematic nature.
Senior Mimi Krupski has been at the school long enough to recognize the issue. She says she is late, “every single day,” to her psych class because it requires her to walk from one end of the building to the other through the congestion.
Krupski is not alone in her struggle. AP Stats, Calc AB, and HVCC 150 teacher Michael Cassia must walk through the back hallway, “five times a day,” he says, in order to keep up with his busy teaching schedule. Cassia acknowledges the school’s prior recognition of the traffic problem, but laments that administration has done little to remedy it.
High School East principal Ron Agostinoni, new to the school this year, exemplifies this purported issue. “I thought that the hallways were going to be worse,” he said. “I imagined something like SPAC, with the huge crowds.”
While Agostinoni has reportedly taken steps through scheduling to solve supposed issues, students and teachers, for whom it is crucial hallways be easy to navigate, still see a problem, and have their own ideas of how to fix it.
Senior Alexis Tucker doesn’t have to run across the school between classes, but her experience with the stairways from first to second floor alone is enough to make her say, “[A] one way starwell would be really good.”
Others, like senior Kate Horan, have experienced their fair share of traffic jams, something she said she frequently encountered as a junior, when her schedule required her to run up and downstairs multiple times throughout the day.
For Horan, “It’s mostly a population problem.” She says, “…there is a lot of congestion and kids just randomly stop in the middle of the hallway.” Her solution is to add, “a senior high school in order to adequately adjust the population.”
Horan is not alone in her thinking. Hallway monitor Dennis Mattice spends his days policing the south hallway of High School East, which he considers one of the most chaotic and congested in the entire school. Much like Horan, Mattice attributes clogs in traffic flow to, “…students who gather in the middle [of the hallway].”
While Mattice does his best as a monitor to encourage students to, “…just keep moving,” his idea of the best solution is to build another school.
“We should have built another high school back in 2004,” Mattice said, criticizing the west wing expansion taking place instead of a new building’s construction.
While Mattice sees this as what would have been the ideal time for expansion, he notes that the enormous population has, “…been a problem since 1980,” when his wife graduated with a, “…class [of] 800 kids.”
Jack Ehrichs, Hannah Galarneau, and Charlie Dorado contributed to this report.