As seen from the second floor of the recently opened Media Arts Center, students utilize the atrium after school for socializing and studying. This building was opened this school year in partnership with the new math and social studies building.
After what seemed to Palo Alto High School students to be an eternity, the construction of the two new buildings, the Media Arts Center (MAC) and a new building for math and social studies, has been completed.
Both buildings have two stories, but the two differ greatly in design. The MAC has a central atrium surrounded by offices and classrooms that look onto it, while the math and social studies building is less unique in design — resembling more of a typical school building.
The MAC houses the MAC100 classrooms. The lower floor of the second building holds all the social studies classes, the 600 room numbers, while the floor above is for the math classrooms, the 800s.
Students are not only relieved to see the construction end, but they also love the new buildings as well and the new recreation spaces they provide.
“The new buildings are pretty nice,” sophomore Ciara Bleahen said.
The new buildings differ from the older buildings on campus with completely different furniture, a more open layout and more electronic additions.
Students have generally expressed their appreciation for this change in scenery.
“The new classrooms are very nice because the environment they provide help improve general learning,” senior Raymond Li said. “I think that the surroundings you’re in while learning are very important and the new buildings are able to provide good surroundings that will last for many years.”
These open areas also provide places for students to do homework, socialize and collaborate on group assignments.
“I love the new buildings,” senior Eliza Ackroyd said. “I love the cool new furniture and how in the Media Arts Center there are lots of places for kids to hang out, like the atrium. The tables and bean bags are really nice to sit and do work in.”
Students on publications are especially grateful for the MAC, as it provides personalized classrooms for them to utilize.
“From being on staff in Verde in the small room in the English building to now having access to the new building, I really have noticed the difference between the two,” junior Siddharth Srinivasan said. “I especially enjoy the university like style of the new building.”
According to math teacher David Baker, the new environment improves learning.
“I like the fact that it has a fresh atmosphere,” Baker said. “It sometimes makes kids feel like they’re getting a fresh start just to be in a new place, especially with the natural light that we get in many of the classrooms.
The new buildings do, however, have flaws. Both buildings have electrical and plumbing issues. They also offer minimal cell phone and internet services, and the stairways in the math and social studies building form bottlenecks during passing periods.
“The wireless connection is really bad so that kind of delays class,” Bleahen said. “And the whole stairs situation is kind of difficult because people block the steps and everyone has backpacks so you are bound to get hit by one. Other than that the new building is pretty cool to have class in.”
Students and teachers hope these will be addressed quickly, but otherwise the new buildings are useful areas everyone should check out if they have not already.
“If all these things can be addressed, however, I think the new building will be a great space for students and teachers,” social studies teacher Christopher Farina said.