Picture this: you are a touring parent, a prospective employee, or a visiting college representative waiting in Wilson Hall’s lobby. As you sit, you hear the sounds of videos playing from phone speakers, explicit language from student voices, and, on occasion, the pop of ping pong balls. Your eyes are led to the source of the sound: the Durham Community Room.
In accordance with the new phone rules established this school year, students are permitted to use their phones in the space. For the most part, student council representatives often run their campaigns on the return of ping pong tables.
During a class period, the Community Room is entirely made up of students with free periods. Some are doing work, most are on their phones, and there will always be at least one person sleeping. In class transitions or near the end of lunch, the room buzzes with social activity. While the room provides an important opportunity for student socialization, there are only few times in a day where this actually occurs.
In its current state, the Community Room is a waste of space. Its size and prominent location are not used in a productive way, and it actually presents a lot of the school’s negative elements. When entering through the front entrance, the Community Room is the first thing one sees. If one takes a step back to think about the possibilities of the Community Room, one stands proud: a permanent space to exhibit student artwork.
Every Inter-Ac school has a full-time space for displaying student work. The Community Room’s voluminous space could allow students to display large-scale work, the sunlit walls could illuminate paintings, and the built-in projector and speaker system could be used to exhibit digital works.
While we all know and love this area of Wilson Hall, most would agree that it is not being utilized to the best of its abilities.
If the Community Room realizes its full potential, it will become a place of prominence displaying the school’s achievements in the arts.