Quaker Valley's new high school update
By: Maisy Bates
Signs littering the yards of the Quaker Valley area read “It’s Time to Build”. The notion of a new high school has been in the making for decades. Students and teachers are hoping for a new school soon, but the reality of that may be more distant than hoped. Currently, the district has secured a piece of land on Camp Meeting road. In June 2021 The School Board voted to hire an architect, BSHM/BCJ, to plan out the new high school. Blueprint QV News claims that construction for the new school could start as early as 2022, with the school opening in 2025. This would mean that current 7th graders would be the first graduating class from the new high school.
Air circulation issues and the safety of student drivers are among several concerns motivating community members to push for the new school to be opened as quickly as possible. They are motivating people both in and out of the building to push for the new school to be opened as quickly as possible.
When asked what issues conditions within the school have created, sophomore Boo Earlewine states, “I have really bad allergies, and a lot of the rooms don’t have good circulation so the air gets musty and my allergies flare up a lot.” The need for better circulation within the school has increased even more since COVID-19.
It is common knowledge within the high school that the gym is often off-limits for use during the fall and spring sports because it is simply too hot to comfortably exercise in the facility. Problems with temperature regulation can cause setbacks for sports by canceling practices and postponing games.
Student drivers have concern for their safety in both the current school and the future school. Ellie Bates, a senior, has been driving to school for two years and finds it concerning that student drivers are required to turn on and off a major highway to get into the school. “Most students have only had their license for a few months when they are driving themselves to school,” she explains
Both students and parents are questioning whether the new high school will be safer for student drivers. This question is answered in the “Chat with Charlie” from May 10th, 2021. During these videos, Charlie Gauthier, Quaker Valley's Director of Facilities and Administrative Services, answers questions asked by the community. Charlie’s response to these concerns with driving safety and traffic in the new school is that the addition of the new high school on Camp Meeting will not affect the current traffic on that road. There will also be two access roads that will allow for smoother arrival and exit of student drivers, parents, and busses.
The land where the new high school will be is about a four-minute drive from the current location. Therefore, the distance does not affect most students' travel time to get there. The property’s two access points are difficult and dangerous to walk or bike to, due to the location but on winding roads.
Ellie Bates says that if she “were able to attend the new school, the thing she would look forward to most is not anything big or fancy, but overall improvement of air quality concerning smells, temperature, and humidity.”
For more information go to Blueprint QV News on the QVSD website.