Reopen Towers 1, 3, 4, and 6 at Albany High School

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Albany High School is a  with 2500+ diverse students enrolled. Students of every race, sex, gender identity, cultural background, ethnicity, upbringing, orientation, health, and economic status attend this 110,000 square foot behemoth. Despite its massive size and multiple sets of hallways to traverse, nearly all classes take place within the same 75,000 square feet, which also includes stairwells, long halls, two cafeterias, 12 bathrooms, a library, and numerous offices. When these variables are added to the equation, there isn't much elbow room left over. Thus, mayhem ensues when the bell rings.

A 900Hz square wave echoes through the hall. Freshman and people with a long commute dart out the room, zipping through the long halls. Droves of students pour out of the library and several side-halls like marbles from a sack. Crowds quickly form, and the front hall becomes a mess of students chatting, squeezing through tight spaces, and colliding repeatedly. Obscenities and screeching often peak their head among the murmur as the students either bob and weave to class, bulldoze through, or do nothing until reprimanded by a monitor at the late bell. 4 minutes pass as the late ones sneak in as the doors, cafeteria doors prop open, and hall monitors project "Let's go! Class or lunch!" through the now desolate corridors. It isn't all tumbleweeds and blowing wind after the late bell - or the occasional hall sweep announcement.

 

Instead, there's still at least 50 teens still roaming the halls.

 

Those who convince their teacher they have to "use the bathroom." Those who have been called down to an academy office. Those who got their library passes and are making their way down. And those who just don't care.

The aforementioned students only have two stairwells to transfer from floor to floor on. One is Tower 2, which holds little use as there are no frequent points on any floor near the tower. The other is Tower 5, which is near the cafeteria (which closes its doors after a few minutes) and the library.

 

Towers 1, 2, and 3 are not close enough to any frequents in the building, so those are not too much of a bother. However, Towers 4 and 6 contain access point for nearly all of the bathrooms, both academy offices, and the bridge connecting the main office and music wing to the remainder of the building. Having these doors locked creates annoyance and inconvenience for students who need to quickly work to the restroom or are being called to the main office. The main hallway is very important and contains all the areas students need to get to. Having them locked and having a hall monitor scold you from the other side is irritating, especially when students need to use the bathroom ten feet away. Instead, they have to go down to the first floor (where the door's unlocked,) head to the middle tower, climb up the stairs, work their way back to the bathroom they were so close to in the first place, then wait for a hall monitor to stop chatting and/or telling other students to go around in order to unlock the bathroom.

 

This wastes 3-5 minutes of precious time they could use to be learning in the classroom or speaking to whomever they went so see to begin with. It is not only an inconvenience; the fact that there are no signs on the closed side telling to go around and the fact that most monitors have a "haha, gotcha" sort of attitude about students coming through is an annoyance as well. There was also a sign at one point telling students who attempted to use those stairwells to "get used to it." This comes off as immature and disrespectful to students, especially those who are unaware of the change to the system.

 

If any towers should be locked for any reason, be it security issues, decreased need for staff, or just plain bothering the students (which I doubt,) it should be the back towers. Most students only use those stairwells during transition times and they aren't connected to anything of interest, such as the gym or library. If those doors are locked, it also decreases reason for students to use the back halls in between periods at all, making surveying the halls much easier for security. Also, the number of students in the hallways causing disruption and difficulty will drop, as they get from point A to B in much quicker fashion.

 

Please consider reopening the towers for the convenience of the students, faculty, and staff. Thank you for taking the time to read this.



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