I am a junior, currently attending Enumclaw High School, and I can explain from my personal accounts why a new addition to our high school is needed.
The problems within the building are more than a few leaks and heating issues. Last year I sat near the middle of the classroom and every time I looked up there was a huge bulge in the ceiling that seemed to grow. We had to reconfigure the entire room so nobody would walk under the dripping panels that eventually did collapse. This was a major distraction to my learning and opened my eyes to all the other issues within our school.
The heating and cooling system is another big problem that seems to be downplayed when others speak about it. I have classes in five different buildings – none maintain a similar temperature. I will go to first period wearing a rain jacket and end up in my T-shirt, then throw the jacket on to run through the rain to get to my next class. In third period, I find myself wishing the rain jacket was thicker and that I had a blanket. I spend so much time deciding what I can wear that will be comfortable, yet I still end up fighting the temperatures. I have never gone an entire class period without hearing at least one complaint about the classroom being too hot or too cold. This is not just a minor issue; it occupies so much of our precious time. It is almost impossible to concentrate when I am so uncomfortable. The maintenance staff is doing the best they can, but there is nothing else they can do to fix these problems.
Beyond these commonly brought-up complaints, I can bring so many other issues to the table. The walls all over the building have stains and are becoming discolored. The bathrooms have stains, as well as having tiles that crumble and fall when a toilet is flushed, and leaky faucets that drip and cause mold. These problems have been addressed by staff, but solutions are only temporary.
Our school has one major aspect that makes it modern: technology. The issue here is that the wiring through the walls is faulty and causes our new Promethean boards to fail. They consistently shut off in the middle of a lecture due to overheating. The teacher must continue to teach without the board or wait for it to cool down; either option delays the lesson plan. If a remodeled school was built, the wiring and set up of these boards would be taken into account. They would be properly installed and able to work with the performance we need.
Looking at the remodel of our high school from another perspective, the benefits are more than just practical. Students carry a sense of pride when they mention the school they attend. When I hear my classmates talk about our school, they are anything but proud. Not a single teenager I know wants to go to school in a cramped, dark, and outdated building. Many schools around us have been revamped to fulfill their students’ needs. When I walk in the doors of these schools, I am amazed. I think to myself how lucky they are. I wish that our school had the same effect on visitors: that they could walk in and see how we are able to learn in spacious classes, with new equipment that runs efficiently and far less distractions. Our education would flourish in a new building and so would our student body’s attitude.
As a student affected by the many issues at EHS, I ask everyone with the ability to vote to please vote “yes” to help pass this bond. By attending school in this outdated and inadequate building, I have sacrificed my full ability to learn. A remodel is the solution to restoring our students’ ability to learn distracted and create a renewed sense of pride for our students and our community.
Junior, Enumclaw High School