Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Wyatt Braun: 'Keeping the school's original size would mean we wouldn't need to accommodate new students.'

Hi, I'm a freshman student at Banks High School, and I think that our school needs to be either rebuilt or renovated.

There are many things in our high school that are getting old and giving out, such as chair welds falling apart, backs of chairs giving out and stained ceilings that are sagging down.

The high school in Banks is well over 50 years old, and there are many parts of it that are either broken, or very close to it.

This isn't a new problem, either. Brian Peters, a local farmer who graduated with the Class of 1978, said that even when the school was newly built, it was a dump.

If you just take one step into the school, it's no secret that the school is old, and it feels kind of like we're just waiting for a classroom ceiling to cave in before anyone responds to the problems.

Not only is the school old and weak, but because it was built before buildings were made to protect from earthquakes, if we had a serious earthquake in Banks, there is no doubt that the school would crumble; furthermore, if that happened during school hours, it would likely kill or seriously hurt a lot of students and teachers, especially anyone in an area with no good place to hide under, such as the hallways, the bathroom or the gym.

If these problems are just left to get worse, it will likely become a big problem in everyday school life. Ceiling tiles could start to fall, pipes could break and the legs for some tables are coming off, which is why I think we should have a full school assessment from somebody who would also analyze the condition of chairs and desks.

The stands for the track are a significant problem, because they are falling apart with paint chipping, nails sticking out, holes in the stands, and the track itself is so compacted and old that there are holes in it that lead to the rocky ground below the track. These holes and the compacted rubber in the track wear out spikes very quickly. Additionally, when I run on the track, it actually feels worse than running on a crowned road.

These problems are so bad, we even have a school Instagram account showing all of the problems our school has.

Besides a withering track and safety issues with the school, having a nicer, newer place to walk into everyday would be much more enjoyable to learn in. There have been studies that indicate better lighting in schools and workplaces can increase productivity and have positive effects on people physically and psychologically. I think getting a nicer-looking school and some new lights could help students learn a lot better.

Building another school or remodeling the one we currently have would be very expensive; it could cut into the school year, and it might take away some funding from sports, and the other schools. If the school is rebuilt, it might come with a need for more teachers, janitors, and maintenance. With a newer, possibly bigger school, that will likely come with more students, which will require more parking spots.

Some people might interpret a new school as a bigger school, but we could just redesign the school instead of making it bigger. Keeping the school's original size would mean we wouldn't need to accommodate new students; therefore, we wouldn't need to try to hire new teachers or staff.

In conclusion, I think that building a new high school for the Banks School District would be very beneficial, and it would come with little to no downsides other than the cost.

Wyatt Braun is a student at Banks High School. This essay was written and submitted to the News-Times as part of a class project, and it was one of several student letters and columns selected for publication.

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