New Building Brings New Challenges


West Haven High School students are encountering new problems this school year, despite the beautiful advancements of the new building.

Most problems have arisen due to the new cafeteria. With almost half the time of last year, the hectic lunch waves often delay eating.

“I don’t even know what I’m eating. I just get in line,” freshman Maxwell Leatherman said. “And I usually don’t have enough time to finish.”

Senior Trevor Basta agreed.

“It’s not very well put together. The lines are too long,” Basta said.

Students have a designated lunch period this year. Unlike last year, when students could go to lunch during any period that they had free, students now go to lunch during an extended block, and their lunch time depends on the class subject.

Basta said he believes the shorter lengths of the new lunch periods are the cause of the hectic cafeteria. 

“If we spread it out throughout the day like it used to be, it would be a lot easier,” Basta said.

“Certain days are just too busy,” sophomore Robbie Vets said.

“Especially when band goes to lunch,” adds sophomore Austin Greenwood. “You’ve got 157 kids, plus everyone else that period.”

Even the workers in the cafeteria agree that business is a problem. 

They say that they preferred working under the old schedule and in their old kitchen. They asked for their names not to be used in this story.

Principal Mrs. Dana Paredes has said that student Board of Education representatives are meeting with the Food Service Director to discuss ways to make lunch more efficient.

Lunch times are not the only problem, however. 

The technological disadvantages of the old wings of the building have also caused problems for students and teachers.

“You can’t hear the bells,” Leatherman said. “Every day we’re changing classes at different times.”

Although the bells have been connected in the B-wing, the F-wing still can hardly hear the bells.

“I can’t hear the bells unless it is totally quiet,” said Tammi Pazsak, an English teacher on the top floor of the E-wing. “I have to rely on other classes.”

“It affects dismissal,” said Vets. “So many people are in the halls at the wrong time.”

When it comes to moving between periods, another problem has arisen. The outdoor area between the B-wing and the main building is uncovered, and cuts right through a construction area.

“It’s horrible,” said Greenwood. “I’ve been late to class so many times.”

The lack of cover over the walkway is also a concern—many students said that bad weather, particularly rain storms and future snow storms, make the area dangerous to walk through. When the building first opened, parents and students were assured that there would be a cover, yet nothing has been put up.

“I don’t really like the new building at all,” sophomore Jacinda McMenamin said. “It feels disorganized and rushed.”

The $130 million building is not all bad, though. Students enjoy many aspects of the new wings.

“The library is more modernized,” said Julio Sanchez, a sophomore. “It accommodates for this generation’s technology. And of course, I love the auditorium.”

The new school now has air conditioning, addressing one of the major complaints about the old building. And with the building project under its budget, the school is set to be completed by 2021, with the entire grounds finished by 2022, according to WTNH.

Whatever the consensus on the new building, all are optimistic about the future. Many students seem to enjoy and use the new technological advantages in areas like the library, the auditorium, the music rooms and the guidance office.

“Despite the downsides, there are a lot of upsides,” junior Conner Fowler said. “I think it can only get better from here.”