FaceBook  Twitter

Students and faculty are assisting in an initiative to transform some spaces in the high school's South Building into more personal and usable spaces. They have been invited to participate in a design contest to organize and furnish these open spaces for better use for student collaboration, meeting space, and individual study and planning.

“With all the changes that have been taking place at the school, we’ve looked to the students and staff for input,” said Assistant Principal Chris Weakland. “They’re the ones in the trenches and using the spaces. What may look good to the administration not be the best choice for students and teachers. This is a great opportunity to get them involved.”

The idea was launched when administrators saw students and faculty using common areas of the building for untraditional uses. Math teachers transformed egress exits to math centers, creating life-size grids out of floor tiles. Students were sitting on floors outside of classrooms to discuss team projects and homework. Teachers met on hallway benches between classes to collaborate.

"The spaces in the building evolved as student and teacher needs changed," said Mr. Weakland. "We got the idea to create better use of spaces, and to provide useful furniture for their needs."

Students have been encouraged to generate ideas to repurpose gathering space, work space, and relaxing space in the building, such as the lunchroom lobby, the auditorium lobby area, and the main lobby. They are encouraged to share detailed ideas and drawings, and to voice their opinions on furnishings, lighting, and flooring for the spaces. The SCASD Educational Foundation will provide several small grants to the students to cover the cost of furnishings or materials needed to redesign the spaces.

Mr. Crawford’s architecture students are actively engaging in the renovations as part of their graduation project.

“Using their architectural background, they’re investigating the best use of those spaces,” said Mr. Weakland.

The project is part of a larger, unspoken initiative, affectionately coined “Embrace the State”, to make adequate use of an aging facility during the school’s renovations.

"We're all in this together," said Mr. Weakland. "Let's make the best of it."