Starting this past summer and continuing through the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year at Novato High, a district-funded construction project has taken up residence behind the school. It looks to install new facilities that will serve Novato High for years to come. These include a 16,500 square foot center for the arts that will serve as the new Performing Arts Center, a 20,170 square foot center for the sciences, and over 248,240 square feet of sports fields and courts.
Campus Supervisor known widely as “Mo” sees the effects of construction on a daily basis.
“I think the best aspect of it is is that our school is growing every day and we need more room, we’ve outgrown our school. So, building a new stem center and msa pac would be great for our school.”
Although they are going to be great additions to the school soon, their installation does not come without drawbacks for current students. So far, these have shown themselves as constant but not piercing noise, a lack of a few essential sports areas, as well as a huge reduction in the number of parking spots slotted for student use.
Although noise issues and scarce sporting fields are causing a temporary issue, the lasting effect on Novato High School is going to be the reduction in student parking spots. The layout of the new math wing cuts off much of the rear staff parking lot and pushes them to the front of the school. This has nearly cut in half the number of spots slotted for students, which has left many students searching for parking around the school.
Senior Dom Delucchi was left without a parking spot for his senior year and it affects him on a day-to-day basis.
“Parking has become much more difficult, more cars are on the streets which is making it much harder to find parking,” said Delucchi. “Most of the spots available are not close enough to make it to school on time and the constant traffic only makes it more difficult.”
These issues are consistent among many students and they are unlikely to be resolved unless the parking areas of NHS are changed or reverted.
Another issue that has surfaced during the construction is the inconvenient placement of the math wing due to constant noise and dust.
Junior Phil Makin agrees that construction noise affects his learning negatively on a regular basis. Although it might not be an everyday occurrence, the noise could cause real issues during high stress times like testing periods and finals week.
The best solution to this kind of problem could be to suspend the construction during these times during the school day, but this is unlikely as it could delay the project and lead to a potential loss of money for the district to extend the construction.
It’s also possible that as construction progresses and the project nears its finish that noise levels decrease or disappear. What will make an effect is the short term inconvenience of mixing a high school and a construction site together.