Palo Alto High School’s library is currently being remodeled, starting off the 2017-2018 school year with a construction project. Photo: Eric Yap
Just days after construction fences around the Peery Family Center and Performing Arts Center were removed, fences appeared around the Palo Alto High School library.
Despite the exciting new library renovations on the Paly campus, many students feel adjusting to the library remodel is inconvenient.
According to junior Colby Perlman, the fences block areas where many students ate lunch and cause a backlog when students travel to classes during passing periods.
“It feels like they [construction workers] take up way more space with the fences than they actually need,” Perlman said.
Junior Eric Solway agrees that the construction is a disturbance.
“While I’m certainly happy [about library construction], I never really understood the need for such an expensive and lengthy undertaking,” Solway said. “I am also very disappointed by the fact that much of the campus will be made inaccessible due to the construction, which will burden most, if not all students.”
Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson has not noticed any inconveniences from the renovation process.
“I don’t think it’s [fence] that huge, really,” Berkson said. “I mean, debris flies, people have to get through.”
According to Berkson, the new library facility will be available for students around January 2019.
Although last year’s gym construction schedule was set back due to rain and weather, Librarian Sima Thomas says the library will not be affected by these factors.
“The library will still be keeping the bones of the structure and adding skylights and windows,” Thomas said. “Since it [the library] is not being built from the ground up, weather won’t really be an issue.”
With a minimum year-long project plan, current seniors will not be able to enjoy the new library. However, freshman Naomi Boneh has high hopes for what the library will include after the long wait.
“There will be lots of comfy chairs, lots of places, quiet places, to sit there and read or work on homework,” Boneh said.
According to Berkson, the new library will have many important improvements.
“They [construction workers] are gutting it,” Berkson said. “So they’re taking out the insides and reshaping it.”
During the construction period, other buildings will serve as temporary library replacements. The Student Center is full of desks and couches for studying and the Academic Resource Center is now in the 400s building. Books and librarian offices have been relocated to P3, P5 and P7.
While the accommodations are working for now, more options will be made available when finals week approaches. The Media Arts Center will accommodate students in place of the usual extended library hours.
“We’re hoping the MAC will stay more of a peaceful, quiet place for students to study,” Berkson said. “As we get closer to finals, we will definitely be using that.”
For now, Paly students will be dodging fences and finding new study spaces as they await the new library building.