Overcrowding leads to loss of SWS lounge


The lounge was used by the SWS community as an additional space for students to interact. It is now being renovated into a classroom.

For School Within a School (SWS) and the general high school community, the SWS lounge has long been a comfortable location to eat, spend time and attend lounge shows, open-mic-like nights of performances by students. However, as the high school faces drastic expansion, the lounge has met a fate similar to other non-classroom spaces.

The SWS lounge has been removed to reallocate the space for a mainstream classroom. Although SWS students are sad to lose a space dedicated to fostering community, they understand that the creation of a classroom will benefit the high school in the long run.

According to SWS coordinator Dan Bresman, the decision to convert the lounge was based on the need for more classrooms due to overcrowding.

“Nobody came and said it’s now time to take away the lounge, it was sort of collaboratively trying to identify what spaces are large enough to have classes in,” Bresman said. “This room is one of the rooms in the school that could have been converted to have a class in it. It was by no means a directive.”

According to senior Jack Reed, an SWS student, the lounge was a room where students in SWS could go to connect with others.

“It was a way that all the kids got to see each other during lunch and get to know all the other kids who were in SWS,” Reed said.

According to junior Carina Von Huene, who will be in SWS next year, the lounge was a uniquely pleasant location to eat lunch during the school day.

“It was nice because you just had a bunch of kids in there and you could talk to any one of them, you could join in in any of the conversations because there weren’t tables or anything,” Von Huene said. “I think it’s going to be harder to bond with other kids in SWS because there’s no place where everyone’s just eating that you can go to.”

Bresman said that he appreciates the positive attitude the SWS community has shown through this difficult decision.

“I’ve been super impressed by the student and staff ability to recognize that it’s necessary for the learning environment for the school,” Bresman said. “It’s impressive that people have the maturity to recognize that it’s not a thing to dispute. It’s definitely sad and unfortunate, and people feel that way, but they’ve been able to be good about it.”

According to Bresman, despite the loss, he is confident that the SWS community will continue to thrive.

“It’s a loss because it did allow us that space for students to be present in the SWS environment, groups of students and staff to be able to collaborate,” Bresman said. “I definitely have concerns about the loss and the impact on our programming and our capacity to do our collaborative activities. But I’m also confident that the students and staff will find alternatives.”