Visiting parents get a taste of West Campus navigation issues

Riley Ellison, Staff Writer

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On parent conference night, parents are encouraged to meet with their child’s teachers to discuss how they are performing… if the parents can find them. As every student that walks through West Campus knows, the school is a hexagonal nightmare that is too easy to get lost in. And every year at parent-teacher conferences, parents are reminded of this.

Walking into West, you’re greeted by a student at a table that hands out complementary maps for parents. These maps will be one of their guides to the confusing twists and turns that make up West. Ally Schellinger, who was working at one of these tables, says, “The maps aren’t that helpful, I’ve already seen some lost people.” After walking away, I spotted one parent that was holding their map upside down and trying to find the math rooms by walking through the main gym doors.

Going upstairs isn’t much better. Hallways are dotted with parents trying to puzzle out where they are until a student or another parent points them in the right direction. One parent, Mrs. Barthelotti says, “It’s pretty overwhelming. It’s hard to imagine the juniors on their first day. But the students helping make a big difference.” Agreeing with her sentiment, Mrs. Szczotka says, “It’s really confusing in the hallways. But it’s very welcoming and nice here, with lots of help from the students.”

These students are what help a lot of parents get to their appointments on time. Krystol Krokos and Nina Pasquini, who were located at the top of the main stairs say, “We’ve seen a lot of lost parents tonight. When parents come to us looking for the math and business pods, we tell them to go forward and turn left. This has led to quite a few people walking into the girl’s locker room.”

James Arey, who was located by the cafeteria described a parent that asked him how the exit the building, after said parent had just left from field house doors, which are right next to an exit.

Since West was built in the 1970’s, It has undergone many changes and additions. One of the newer additions was the manufacturing wing by the auditorium. It has a lot of amazing machines and equipment, but its location leaves a bit to be desired. A parent, Mr. D’Addabbo comments “It’s really hard to find the manufacturing wing.”

Parents aren’t the only ones who have some difficulties finding their way around. Some teachers, at the beginning of their time at West, had some troubles finding their classrooms. Marc Tolkson, who attended Lake Park as a student and now teaches there, says, “As a student, I was really overwhelmed and disoriented. But, as a teacher assistant, I had to learn how to get to each of the rooms. Now as a teacher, I have no problem finding my way around.” Another teacher, Josephine Cloud, didn’t have the same luck, “I was lost in 2005, I’m still lost in 2018.”

Maybe one day in the future, West will become less of a maze for the people who work, learn, and visit there. But, for now, it remains a confusing series of twists and turns.


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Visiting parents get a taste of West Campus navigation issues