3 renovations the school should make

May 31, 2019 — by Kaylene Morrison

After the remodeling of the 800 wing into a wellness center, the transformation of the old music building into the new MAP annex, the construction of the new music building and the completion of various other projects, it is clear that the Measure E funds were distributed to projects that students find useful and can enjoy. Nevertheless, there are still more renovations that would greatly benefit students that were not covered by Measure E, so I have compiled a list of improvements that the school board should look into next.

  1. A covered walkway from the science wing to other buildings on campus and an awning that goes around the entire perimeter of the science wing. One problem that has not been addressed by the Measure E funds is the fact that it is currently impossible to walk from the science wing to any other building on campus on rainy days without getting soaked.

On days with especially heavy rainstorms in which gusts of wind blow rain sideways, even an umbrella is unable to prevent students from getting wet. The current awnings directly above the doors to the classrooms in the science wing are sparse and discontinuous; consequently, those with classes on the far side of the building are guaranteed to get drenched when it rains.

  1. Solar panels: in 2011, 2,640 solar panels were installed above a parking lot at West Valley College. These solar panels provide one-third of the school’s electricity and will have allowed West Valley to save $9,000,000 in electrical costs by 2036.

Constructing a similar solar power structure at Saratoga High would have many benefits. Although the construction costs will likely be high, the school will be able to save money in the long run and, as a result, allocate funds to other purposes. Second, installing solar panels would be a perfect step forward toward more eco-friendly practices and set an example for other schools in the area.

Third, the solar structure would provide shade for students’ cars on hot days and protection from the rain during the winter. This change would be greatly appreciated by the juniors and seniors, as during the weeks at the beginning and end of the school year, steering wheels can get so hot that it is painful to drive.

  1. More hydration stations: Though there are already several hydration stations scattered around the school, most of the school’s drinking fountains are the original metallic grey ones which must have been installed decades ago. The water from these old drinking fountains flows at either a trickle or geyser, and the drains are often clogged with random bits of food. In comparison, the hydration stations have touchless sensor activation bottle fillers, are much more sanitary and provide higher quality water. The hydration stations are superior in every way and should replace the archaic fountains at our school.

In deciding how to spend the remaining Measure E funds, the school board should consider allocating money to the completion of these projects — they would all have marked benefits.

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