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No more room for trailers, make a new school

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There are around 2,000 bodies running around the halls of Harrisonburg High School Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. With that high number, HHS can officially say that it is at an overcrowded crisis. In fact, the school has overly exceeded the number of people it can hold. HHS was originally built for 1,350 students and could handle 1,500 if needed, but with a number of 2000, we have obviously hit and gone over our population limit. The city of Harrisonburg needs to build a new high school. Rockingham County holds four high schools, whereas there is only one in Harrisonburg. There isn’t any more room in the school to keep adding people. Now, building a new school does cost money and taxes out of Harrisonburg resident’s pockets, which will hold people from wanting a new school, but education matters. If the city of Harrisonburg values education and knows what it is like to currently attend HHS, a new school must be built.

To start off, HHS is crowded in general. It’s not just the classrooms, it’s not just the hallways, it’s everywhere. It’s the restrooms, staircases, lunch lines. Once the bell rings to dismiss you to your next class, it’s like the whole school is at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. There are multiple staircases in the school, and each one still manages to get filled up. Breakfast lines after first block are ridiculously crowded, and even with six lines to get your breakfast from, it’s still not enough space. There are shoulders touching and people trying to squeeze through each other every day just so they aren’t late to class.

With over exceeding our population capacity by hundreds, it’s okay to say that it’s not safe to go to school. In a fire or any type of natural disaster, it is a hazard to have the amount of people we have in HHS. This year, three new outside classrooms were added because there were not enough classrooms inside the actual building to fit everyone. Even with the addition of those trailers, there’s still not enough room. There is no more room on the actual Harrisonburg campus for us to keep adding trailers every year. Creating a new school where students will have an actual classroom to sit in and learn is what needs to happen.

The action that needs to be made is that we need to build a new high school. A crowded school with hardly any space to walk through while going to your next class and limited amount of classrooms takes away the value of education. We can’t predict the future whether the upcoming classes will increase or decrease, but it’s better to be safe than sorry; it’s better to build a new school rather than cramming the city of Harrisonburg into one building.

If taxes or the amount of money is stopping us from building a new high school, that is a weak excuse. Our elders, community members, family and everyone else are always reminding us about how important education is. Building a new school might not affect you, but it will affect your siblings, any family member that hasn’t reached high school, grandchildren, etc. If education matters, then building a new school is the next step.

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No more room for trailers, make a new school