The Newly Built Student Lounge


The new student lounge

Sydney Kalish, Editor of Student Life

Ever since announcing the destruction of the locker bays and their replacement, a new student lounge and classrooms, the whole student body has been buzzing with questions.

The student lounge, finally completed and in use mid-October, has been met with many controversial opinions. With some for and some against, the stage is set for the new classroom completion. However, what do these new spaces mean for our school as a whole?

Many students have begun to regularly use the student lounge, located in the old senior locker bay right at the entrance to the English hallway. The space is now open and lit, with a few couches and tables for student use. Despite the initial excitement however, many have mixed reviews. Most students say they appreciate the central location, but “atmosphere is off”. In a survey taken from the student population; the majority say that they liked the lounge overall but it still needed to be improved. Most still prefer the quietness of the library over the bustle of the student lounge and the general consensus remains that the fluorescent lights are overpowering and unwelcoming. The majority of critiques are due to lack of “comfy furniture” which seems to be the main issue currently. The overall effect on the school remains to be seen, however, despite the mixed reviews the vast majority agree the idea is a good one. In the survey, students offered their ideas for improvement with many attempting to promote a more homey feel from anywhere to installing additional artwork, to buying more furniture, to adding seasonal decorations. Unfortunately only time will tell, however there is no shortage of ideas and  hopefully the student lounge will see some of the improvements highly recommended by its student occupants.

The student lounge is now in full swing and the new classrooms have completely replaced the remaining lockerbays. With the construction fully completed by mid November and their subsequent use, it is safe to say we will not miss the endless drilling found throughout the hallways in the second semester. These classrooms are a large improvement and with our expanding student body, the space they provide may be crucial. Mr. Curatolo, assistant principal, is all in for both the student lounge and new classrooms. Both new spaces are a “better use of space that we have on campus”, said Curatolo who had seen their previous use dwindle as fewer and fewer students requested lockers in years past. Now fully in use, these new classrooms will provide much needed space and breathing room for teachers, without the wasted space of the locker bays. There is no doubt that these new classrooms make schedules much easier and will “help to better accommodate the current kids we have,” said Curatolo. 

Despite the function these new classrooms and student lounge serve in the flow and function of the school; they serve a more important purpose that many don’t initially consider. These spaces are an attempt to further expand the Gibbons atmosphere of community. “During Covid we lost a level of community that we had had for a long time”, said Curatolo “and it’s just taking time to develop that back.” With a central location for studying and spending time, Gibbons is taking its first steps to bring back the highly communal atmosphere that we seem to have been missing since the pandemic. These communal spaces are slowly but surely bringing us back together, and it is rebuilding the trademark “Gibbons feel” that is most important to faculty and staff when considering the new spaces.

Despite initial impressions, it is clear that the student lounge is bringing students together. From debates about its design to the many club meetings and tutoring sessions the space has already hosted, it is working to bring the Gibbons feel back into the halls. In the very center of all the action, the student lounge stands bright and new and represents a large step, if not a perfect one, into a plan for the future.