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Hamsini Kanakagiri

Special Correspondent

Benches are replacing some lockers at Holliston High School through a project started by English teacher, Ms. Jaime Murphy, and students Owen Ward and Will Crowley in December 2018.

Many students don’t use their lockers, and some don’t even know where their lockers are. The team, therefore, decided to make some changes.

The project is being run primarily by students.

“Owen Ward and Will Crowley are, I would say, the key students who have taken on the project as their own. They were in charge of taking the lockers out. They’ve been fantastic,” said Ms. Murphy.

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Senior Owen Ward begins construction on the new study area. Picture: Megan Gentile 

“When it comes to lockers I think they are mostly a waste of space. The number of students in HHS who use their lockers is significantly smaller than those who do not,” said Ward in an email interview. “Nowadays more and more students are carrying all of their belongings with them, so the need for every student to have a locker is fading away,” he added.

Instead of lockers, there will be benches, charging stations for chromebooks and other devices, and a storage area. There are still revisions being made to this plan, but the main idea is that the storage area will serve different purposes than the current lockers.

“The lockers take up a lot of space in the hallway and with the space, there are countless number of possibilities which can be done. I am someone who never used their locker during my time at HHS,” said Ward.

Ms. Murphy and her students had the idea of adding booths instead of lockers, but they had to revise that plan. The issue with booths is that it took up too much space in the hallway, so the team agreed that there shouldn’t be any solid structures that extend into the hallways.

The new installments will add a specific place for students to work.

Students are excited and intrigued to see this new project. They are eager to use the lockers for a different purpose because most students don’t use them except for the kids who use them for food.

“My brother and his friend use a locker for snacks,” said freshman, Margot Evans. “I’m so glad we’re getting rid of these lockers because they are so pointless and dumb and no one uses them,” she added.

Substitutes for the lockers include the benefits of providing a new place for students to gather, study and work.

“My goal with this project is to create a new working environment for students. I want students who may not work the best in a traditional learning environment to take advantage of the space I am creating and use it to better their learning,” Ward said. “I also wanted to create a less stressful school environment. This would include a place to work but also a place where students can come and just change things up if they need to.”

About seven years ago, Ms. Murphy came up with this idea which just sat in her mind until Mr. Tom Levesque proposed his idea about the tiny house to vice principal, Mr. Patrick Kelley, who became very excited and encouraging. Hearing this, Ms. Murphy gained the confidence to share her idea with Mr. Kelley.

“I had it years ago. I come up with a lot of ideas, but they sit. …  And I just started to have conversations with more people, and then this winter, I gave my idea to Mr. Kelley and he got on board immediately. He loved the idea,” Ms. Murphy said.

If this project does not work out the way Ward, Crowley, and Ms. Murphy want it, they will redesign. To help with the redesign, they will make a survey asking students what to change and what to keep the same.

If this project is a success, more lockers will be changed around the school, so kids can use the space more efficiently.

“Hopefully, we will put in the plan in a few different areas of …. the building and if it takes off that’s something we have to consider because it’s a lot of work. But I would love to see more units around the school. I’d like to see some changes and if it works that would be great,” Ms. Murphy said.

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