Building Five or Building Flaw?


Photo provided by: Anna Marukuni

Students walk from class to class in between periods. Due to the current concerns about school safety, Lake Brantley has added new gates, regulations, and security guards.

Porter Huyck, Staff Reporter

The recent addition of the new Building Five is the talk of the campus these days, though often in curses as students run between classes. The new building, despite its modern design and integration of technology into every classroom, is lacking in many respects.

The most glaring flaw is the foot traffic that rushes up and down the steps and through every doorway during the newly extended seven-minutes between classes. The building’s main staircase is packed with students within seconds of dismissal bells. While there are alternative stairways on the northeast and northwest corners of the building, utilizing them as exits only steers students further from the rest of the campus assuming they even know that the paths exist. These paths prove to be inconvenient and inefficient, as students must walk all the way around the building to even use them. With only one viable set of stairs to get to and from the rest of the campus, students are forced to push through crowds of those exiting on the same path. This creates a nightmare of tightly packed bodies prone to accidental falls, shoving and other accidents while haunted by the threat of a HERO.

To make matters worse, only the west side of the building, facing the Aquatics Center, has a sidewalk for students to use. On the south side, however, students face the gauntlet of chain-link fences and uneven dirt that leads to the rest of the campus. The students moving to and from the new building are crushed into narrow sidewalks enclosed by chain-link fences unless they choose the lengthy, “scenic” route through the beautiful new restaurant that will likely result in a tardy. As if these conditions are not bad enough, those traveling both to and from Building Five are forced to confront the simultaneous flow of students in the opposite direction since they are limited to one pathway. This creates larger crowds and adds to the difficulty of navigating Building Five.

The poorly planned setup is once again evident when students must see a guidance counselor during class. They must travel all the way to the new building and back, which wastes their class time simply due to the walking distance. This loss of class time extends beyond guidance counselor meetings, however, as every class has been shortened by a minute to account for walking time. This takes away time for teachers to raise test scores and prepare students for the world, with a total of 18 hours of instructional time lost each year.

An $18.5 million renovation is of little worth when students must rush between classes on crowded paths and up and down dangerously packed staircases just to get to class on time. The design of the newest building is inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. It is an accident is waiting to happen until more paths are opened for students to travel safely and with less stress.