Lockers limit space for murals

Lockers limit space for murals

BY NATALIE BLISS & ERIN FORD

Freshman are coming in by the hundreds, and with high numbers means high expansion. The building is not the one being expanded, however. South is running out of room and administration believes it’s time for more lockers. Adding more lockers raises concern for the future of the murals that previous and current students have worked to create.

“The administration should have had the areas where they might add lockers decided before they let us make murals there,” Allie Zwetzig, 12, said. “I don’t feel like lockers should be mandatory anyway.”

Lockers, though not mandatory, are something that the administration wants to offer to every student. Some students see other options that allow room for compromise.

“I think students should be able to sign up for lockers because I don’t use my locker at all,” Julia Vanderhoof, 12, said.

While the kids in the art class are affected, the kids at South who have no interaction with creating the murals are also affected. The murals create the atmosphere for South that the students believe shows a unique style.

“I think the murals are cool and if the district has to add lockers then maybe there are too many kids coming into our school,” Dawson Hacker, 10, said.

The incoming class is supposed to be composed of nearly 300 students, which makes the largest class from South to date right behind the class of 2021 with 257 students. With adding lockers for the incoming freshman, a concern is raised on the future of the Art in Action class at South. With less room for murals to be created, the class may be forced to end.

“At some point in time we’ll have to stop adding murals,” Dave Hickerson, principal, said. “I like what we are doing here with the Art in Action classes, but we also want to make sure that we keep a balance with doing those murals and the natural wall space.”

With this news of the possibility of the murals being covered, some Art in Action students that are working on projects currently are unaware of the plans. The administration believes that the main hallway, where the larger murals are located, is one of the only places in the school to add lockers since other hallways are full. While they have struggled to find a place to put new lockers, they also have begun moving the lockers out of the mezzanine.

“We don’t believe that having lockers on the mezzanine is ideal because of how far kids may have to walk between classes to and from their lockers,” Hickerson said.

Students in the hallways are more commonly seen with backpacks rather than carrying their supplies with them between classes. Lockers, while convenient for some, pose as a hangout spot for some kids.

“I would say only around 100 students in the entire school use their lockers,” Sydney Bonham, 9, said. “Students usually opt for using their backpacks because of convenience.”

The decision for the placement of lockers has not been finalized. With the amount of new freshman coming in next year, the population of students at South will be over 1,000.

“Maize South is growing and I can’t wait to see how we continue to expand,” Hickerson said.

For some students, lockers helped them stay organized. Bailee Davis, 12, opens up locker in between classes. Photo by E. Ford.