Our View: New high school needed for success

From the outside, Cedar Falls High School looks like any other high school. Brick outside, windows lining each wall, a flag pole standing high, waving as students enter the building.

However, after over 50 years of standing on Division Street, the school shows wear and tear beyond its brick outer layer.

Initially walking into the school, one may not see many problems. The front of the building is air conditioned, the fluorescent lights hang above, showing the Tiger pride that we all have. When one walks past the front, the wear and tear starts to show.

There are many problems with our school, but we will cover a few of the main issues.

The most prominent issue is student elevator access. In a school of its size, you would think that handicap accessible students would have an easier time getting around. This is not the case.

There is one single elevator in the north corner of the school, far away from many core classes. Students who need to use the elevator have to go all the way around the school, wait for the single person elevator and take it to their next class.

This forces them to leave class early to get elevator access early and get to their next classes on time. Students are taking vital class time out to get around the school, and in a modern society, this should simply not be an issue.

Another problem that comes with the elevator is the dreaded chair lift. The high school is equipped with two chair lifts to take handicapped students up flights of stairs. One of the most used ones near the cafeteria takes up over half of the staircase.

This then becomes an endeavor for students to get around the lift while passing along with teachers who have to operate the lift and safely get students to the other side. Handicap accessibility should not be this hard nor discriminating for students based on their physical needs.

Another issue that arises is security. With increasing numbers of school shootings per year in the United States, many schools have doors with scan-in doors, metal detectors and regulated doors.

With so many entrances and exits at the high school, it is nearly impossible to monitor all the doors. This sparks concerns for dangerous intruder entrances, unregulated backpacks and dreaded walks to the front door.

On the topic of walking, parking is also a concern at the high school. With a growing population, more and more students attend school, which then leads to more students driving and parking here.

In a land-locked area, the high school has no room to expand. Students are left to park in a parking lot and along the side streets.

In-street parallel parking is a rarity, but at Cedar Falls High School, it is a reality. When there are visitors, there is no place for them to park, and students are left to walk a long distance to school.

Another issue with being landlocked is no room for expansion. A second portable will be added to the school this upcoming semester to facilitate the growing course opportunities. There is simply not enough room in the school for all the course offerings, which leads to the addition of portables.

These portables also bridge an aspect of security. How are students expected to get out and to class on time when they have to go in the front of the building?

With a school that has had many state titles in sports, great music programs, robotics teams, and so much more, you would think that our award winning staff and students would deserve nothing but the best.

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