Problems with the New Stem Building

After the opening of the new STEM building at Aliso Niguel High School, many students, as well as the faculty, were very excited about the new addition on campus. The new building, which is two stories high and features indoor and outdoor bathrooms, intrigued many students, and interested kids and teachers who have a passion for science. Despite the wide-ranging aspects of the classrooms which cater to laboratory experiments and education in science, many people at ANHS argue that there are some faults in the building and its management. 

Students at Aliso Niguel High School maintain the opinion that the bathrooms in the STEM building are much nicer than the other bathrooms on campus, but they are always locked from student use. 

Rachel Taylor (11), states that “the new bathrooms are really nice, but they’re always locked. The bathrooms are even locked during class, which is really annoying. It defeats the purpose of installing them in the building, to begin with.”

When asked what she would tell the faculty about the bathrooms, Rachel replies, “I would tell them to keep the bathrooms open during lunch and class time because the other bathrooms are always full and because it’s the only clean bathroom at our school.”

It is evident that the 20,000-square-foot, $11.5 million building is difficult to manage and watch over during busy passing periods and lunch. Mr. Hatcher had previously promised that the indoor lobby of the building would be fully furnished and open to students to use as a lounge area, but the staff at Aliso Niguel have been unable to follow through with this original plan. 

Many proctors on campus agree that it is too challenging to watch over the bathrooms in the STEM building while also having proctors on the other side of the school, due to a slight short-handed staff. A small percentage of students who vandalized the bathroom at the beginning of its opening and misused the space has most likely caused the bathrooms’ almost constant closure.

Asal Flodius (11) claims that “[she] barely knew about the indoor space in the STEM building” because it’s always locked. She declares that “the indoor portion of the STEM building would be a cool place to chill, do homework in, or just pass through.” She also states that “the school spent millions of dollars on the building’s construction and half of it is always locked…that’s kind of a waste of money.” 

Teachers and students are also frustrated with the noticeable echo throughout the entire building. Mr. Mosier, a science teacher whose class is located in the STEM building, says that he is incredibly grateful for his new classroom and the opportunities it has given students to learn more about science. However, he also acknowledges that it is hard to lecture and teach because of the loud echo throughout the building. When more than one person is talking at once, the sound waves reflect back and forth, creating a noisy classroom environment. 

Chloe Young (11) expresses, “I feel like they didn’t take the time to make sure everything was done properly. The building was supposed to be made during Covid and that didn’t happen so they just rushed it to be made the summer before school, which also didn’t happen.” 

The STEM building at Aliso Niguel High School has given new opportunities to students who are taking a variety of science courses, but when talking to kids and staff, it is apparent that some matters may have not been discussed thoroughly enough among the faculty and constructors. There may be multiple reasons for these issues, but the fact remains that the management of the bathrooms in the building and the echo throughout the classroom are two of the major problems of the building.