Safety Trumps Cleanliness in Staples High School Locker Rooms

With space at a premium, the showers at Staples High School have become a prime storage location

After an extended period of playing speed ball in the overheated Staples field house, the last thing Craig Wheat ’13 wanted to do was put his school clothes back on. With the showers in the boy’s locker room filled with chairs for storage purposes, Wheat and his fellow classmates must resort to other measures to dry off before heading off to their next class.

“I dread my next class after gym because it is a disgusting feeling to be sitting in class drenched in sweat,” Wheat said.

For now, Wheat and the rest of the Staples community will have to find a way to deal with this feeling due to the inaccessibility of the showers in both the boys’ and the girls’ locker rooms.

After seeing the use of the showers decline over the years, head of the P.E. Department Dave Gusitch explains why the area was made a storage facility.

“Since I have been here there has never been showering after Physical Education. I am in my 11th year of teaching, I have been at three different schools and never was there showering. I didn’t have the option to shower after class in high school” Gusitch said.

These chairs have called the showers home for several years, Gusitch said. However, even if these chairs were to be moved, students are not so sure they would jump at the opportunity to shower after a period of P.E. Having taken P.E. courses for the first three years at Staples, Will Monde ’11 said cleaning of the facilities would not do much.

“The boys’ locker room is one of the grossest facilities I have ever been in and I feel like if you were to get out of the shower you would still feel disgusting,” Monde said.

For students at Staples, the biggest factor when it comes to showering is not cleanliness, but instead, safety. After several incidents of theft in the locker rooms, students like Matt Liebergall ’13 don’t feel comfortable using the facilities at all.

“The quality of the locker room is abysmal. I can remember coming from Bedford as a freshman and thinking to myself how much nicer the facilities there were and how much I missed them,” Liebergall said.

One of the biggest reasons for the negative opinions about the boy’s locker room in particular is the “lack of lighting,” Liebergall said. According to Liebergall, the lack of lighting invites students to partake in actions such as stealing. However, for some students like Monde, the lack of security in the locker rooms would not have stopped him from showering if the option was available.

“If the chairs were gone and the showers were renovated then I would take the opportunity to quickly rinse off. “

While the boys at Staples have been vocal about the issue with their changing area, the girls are quite content with theirs.

According to Gusitch, the girls’ facilities were renovated as recently as few years ago. however, Gusitch cannot even remember the last time the boy’s area had any changes made.

Like the boys’ side, the girls’ locker room has also been changed into a storage facility over the years with chairs stacked up in the area of the showers.

However, even if the chairs were to be removed, Taylor Boone ’11 is confident that girls at Staples would not use the showers despite the better conditions of their locker rooms.

“I don’t think girls would use the showers if they had the opportunity to after P.E. because we don’t sweat and get smelly,” Boone said.

Showering after a period of swimming is different for girls due to the fact that they are more inclined to rid themselves of the smell of chlorine as well as prevent their hair from getting knots in it, Boone said.

While students may not seem excited about the idea of showering after class, they are looking for major changes to be made to their changing facilities.

Leibergall puts it all into perspective about the effect that the poor conditions of the locker rooms have had on students.

“It’s a shame that the physical fitness area was forgotten in the renovation of the school because now students are afraid of the idea of changing or showering in the locker room due to how sketchy it has become.”

 

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