Portables present challenges for WJ community

Sourish Dey

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Sophomores Samuel Chang, Charles Ponyicsanyi and Amit Sabba walk through the portables on their way to their US History class. They will have to deal with the locked exterior doors to access their classes in the main building.

Sophomores Samuel Chang, Charles Ponyicsanyi and Amit Sabba walk through the portables on their way to their US History class. They will have to deal with the locked exterior doors to access their classes in the main building.

With the overcrowded nature of WJ, portables are a necessary feature to provide the needed capacity at the school. However, their exterior nature makes them a contrast to the general school environment presenting numerous challenges.

From a spatial perspective, the portables are physically further from the rest of the building. To access them, students must go to stairwells at the far corners of the schools and then walk out to them. Given that students only have five minutes to transition classes, this separation makes it much harder for students to get to class on time.

“[In] the portables, you’re kind of separated from the rest of the school and having so many back to back you don’t have time in the hallways,” sophomore Sofia Reyes said.

The distance and separation does not only prove to be a challenge for students, but teachers as well. AP Calculus teacher Michael Laukitis notes that being in the portables makes it harder for him to meet the other AP Calculus teachers.

“When my two fellow AP Calc teachers are in the building, it’s not always easy [to] pass by to talk to them,” Laukitis said.

In addition to the separation, the doors between the portables and the main building are kept locked for security reasons. This makes it very challenging for students in portable classes to access bathrooms and other facilities in the main building.

“If you have an emergency and you really need to go to the bathroom, you have to wait until the person who’s out comes back,” Reyes said.

The walkway to the portables is also not protected from the elements. This means students must go outside to deal with whatever weather is there at the moment when going to class. This is particularly inconvenient when it’s raining or cold.

“When it’s really cold outside, it sucks going out there because you really have to put on all your layers,” senior Pablo Foley said.

The portables are also separated from the central air conditioning system. Interestingly, many find that the air conditioning in the portables is better than that in the main building.

“Personally, I actually feel like the portable classes are the only ones that are decently air-conditioned sometimes,” Foley said.

Despite these challenges, the portables still function as working classrooms meeting the needs of a massive school population.

“Overall, when you’re sitting in the class, it doesn’t feel like you’re outside of the school,” Reyes said.

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