Noisy construction will lead to benefits next year

October 15, 2018 — by Alex Wang

Pencils scribble as students take their APUSH exam in history teacher Faith Stackhouse Daly’s room, trying to remember the effects of the Constitution and who wrote the Declaration of Independence. In the meantime, all they can hear is the loud jackhammer outside and the whirring of electric drills. Although they try to concentrate on the task at hand, the noise outside can sometimes be too much to bear.

To those complaining about the noise, know that we all feel your pain. As we listen to our teachers’ lessons, the drilling drones on in the background. As we walk in the hallways with our friends, we can barely hear the conversation. But as we look through the fences, we cannot help but notice the progress on the new student center in the heart of campus. When the new wellness center and other rooms finish being constructed in early spring, it will provide a spot that all students will benefit from.

Currently, the walk to reach the offices of the CASSY counselors is long and out of the way; students must go along the path between the office and the 200 hundred wing to reach it.

Furthermore, the CASSY facility is not even a proper building. The therapists are currently being housed in a portable, which gives them a small space that’s barely able to accommodate a large number of students. For some, the center’s fringe location on campus is forgettable; students may not even remember the center exists, as their freshman health class was they heard the location.

The new building will be able to provide numerous students with a space to de-stress or talk with a counselor in a location more accessible to all. Last year, CASSY provided 4,800 hours of counseling, and now with a more centralized location, that number is bound to increase — and with it, a general improvement in students’ mental well-being. Students seeking support will just need to drop in to meet or schedule appointments with the therapists.

On the other hand, a more centralized location may deter some students from using the facility because they prefer to have more privacy. However, CASSY counselors have promised they will try to combat this feeling of self-consciousness by making the wellness center more welcoming and by integrating wellness into the school culture.

Besides CASSY, the new 800 wing will provide a new leadership room and conference rooms for students. This new area will open up more places for students to do homework or hang out during lunch and tutorial, as the library and many teachers’ rooms are often over-crowded and noisy. A revamped copy room will also be in the 800 wing, and there will be improved staff bathrooms as well.

A newer building always has its advantages. When the music building opened last August, it came with state-of-the-art facilities that will benefit students for decades. The new student and wellness center will be similarly beneficial when it is complete — we just need to put up with more noise to get there.