Page 1: Changes Abound

Joshua Dester and Evan Signer

There have been many changes — inside and outside of the building — this school year.

With the outbreak of Covid-19 and the possibility of spreading it throughout the school, changes were needed. 

*Masks are required, except while eating. 

*There’s a lot of hand sanitizer.

*Water fountains were turned off and replaced with water bottle filling machines.  

Some of the more drastic changes are apparent outside of school. 


New entrance

The parking lot underwent a lot of changes with a new entrance on the west side that includes a stoplight at the Rock Road and Pinion Road intersection. The entrance links the south parking lot to Rock. Some parking spaces were also taken out. 

These new changes resulted in many complaints from students and staff, mostly due to the stoplight implemented in the new entrance. 

 “Really, really annoying,” senior Luke Perrin said. “I hate it, every fiber of my body, I hate it. It’s just red every time.”  

Senior David Macormac said there wasn’t a need to make the change to the light.

“It just made traffic slower,” he said. “I think it’s worse than it originally was.”

The main problems were in the sensors of the stop light not picking up the stopped cars and continuing with its sequences. These problems to this point have been fixed for the most part. 

The lights are annoying only because they had very little time to deal with what they had. The change was necessary  to ensure the safety of students crossing the street and anyone who needed to turn left on Rock or Pinion could safely turn without having to worry about cross traffic.

Lunch and social distancing 

Another main complaint about one of the new changes was regarding the new lunch system, which allows students to pick up pre-packaged lunch bags in the gym lobby or the cafeteria. 

Throughout the school, there were strips of tape put onto certain seats indicating where you’re allowed to sit following the six feet apart rule, however the social distancing during lunch is not really enforced. 

“I mean, it’s OK,” senior Jayden Kymer said. “… They aren’t doing a good job of social distancing.”

“Referring to the ID scan, I think it’s a lot faster,” senior Johnathan Schleinz said about how lunches linked to your account. “The seating is all right, not much of a difference besides that we’re more spread out.”

With all these restrictions and limited seating, students can eat in the halls, even sitting on the floor. 

Bathrooms and water-filling stations

Bathrooms were upgraded.

Water-bottle filling stations were added.

“They’re mainly for the coronavirus, but I feel like it’s better. And they gave out free water bottles, so that’s cool,” senior Nick Martin said. 

“I actually think they are really nice,” senior Cooper Godwin said of the water-bottle filling stations. “I mean what can you complain about, they are nice and clean” Senior Cooper Godwin said. “I also like the fact that they added the water-bottle filling stations, they are nice and convenient.”r

Why do the new lights take a while to switch to green? Alex Lane City Engineer – Because there is no left turn lane to separate turning traffic from through traffic the signal operation only allows one direction of travel on Rock RD. at a time. This is known as “split phasing”. This is the only good way to allow the heavy turning movements experienced in the morning and afternoon school drop off and pick up times, without a turn lane.  Unfortunately, split phasing is not the most efficient way to handle traffic and results in longer wait times.  There are a lot of utilities in the way and the timeline to add a left turn lane would have been greater than what was available to coincide with the other school improvements.  

Do you plan to fix these problems anytime soon? Alex Lane City EngineerWe pre-programmed the signals based on traffic patterns  of May of 2019. The traffic patterns have changed significantly since then for a  number of reasons. We have been and are continuing to make adjustments to make the system more efficient.”