And yet, they remain empty?

As you walk down the hallways, you may see our beautiful collaborative spaces, such as offices, benches, tables, or a cafe. You may quickly notice though, that some of our spaces don’t get used too much. They’re often found empty. Where there should be socialization, fun or study time, there’s often none. Even popular places that people would love to be- like the cafe or the grass area- are empty when they are not being used for explicit learning lessons by teachers. That is wrong, these spaces could and should be used more often for study, work, or recreation by teachers and students alike. 

The Cafe, for example, is a place anticipated by a strong majority of the student body. Even before school opened, news of a cafe was exciting; the amount of possibilities with something like that is astonishing. People have been disappointed to find out that both this and last year, it is not yet open which is unfortunate to say the least. This space would have brought coffee right to the student rather than them having to drive some place else. It would’ve also been very convenient, as it is said that the plan would be to let kids buy things using the same ID system lunch and breakfast uses. Student job programs could also be a prospect, introducing students to what jobs may be like or how to manage a business. Rumor has it that the plan is to put students to work in the cafe, but when?

Another space highly anticipated was the green way right next to the library. In the original 3D photos the projection of the high school made this grass area look like a socialization area, a place where students could study and work together. This mixed with the plethora of seating around the area would make an excellent area to eat and relax. Unlike the cafe, this place is actually open, although not to the extent in which you may think. Currently, this place is only filled with the few students who are lucky enough to have their teachers take them there. If not that, then it’s the few kids who hang around after school. That’s wrong. This should be a communal space for kids to relax and eat if they please. The fact that this space is hardly used at all should say something.

Communal spaces are just that, communal. But right now, they’re not. Space that kids could be using for entertainment, study, or to eat, remains empty. They could have been used a year ago, yet they remain empty. So why not now? Why not use these spaces now? Why not let the kids do as they want, or as they were intended to do by the design of this very school. Spaces like the Cafe, the grassy space, or the many benches, and booths, should be open for students to use as much as they please. Times like advisory or lunch shouldn’t keep kids locked in the cafeteria. There are spaces for a reason.

Michael Cobarrubias
Michael Cobarrubias