Transportation For Those With Injury Or Disability Causes Struggle

At first glance Staples, with its six central staircases and expansive hallways, seems well-equipped to handle the roughly 2,000 students who flood its halls every hour.

However, Staples’ singular elevator and cumbersome lifts have made some student’s transition between classes a daily struggle.

“On a day to day basis, going to classes, it can be a little bit difficult because typically every single class I have is on a different floor,” Maria Maisonet ’19 said. “I have to go up and down with the elevator, and the elevator is not in a very convenient spot.”

Maisonet said that this configuration means it often takes her around seven minutes to transition between classes.
“I think the elevator is a little bit inconveniently placed because it is kind of hard to maneuver from one side of the school to another,” Fabian Baccera ’17 said.

Currently, students with a sports injury or disability that prevents them from using the stairs are permitted to leave classes five minutes before passing time and arrive to their next period class five minutes late.

Natalie Chun ’17, who was on crutches for several months due to a sports injury, found leaving classes to use the elevator so inconvenient that she often took the stairs against doctor recommendation.

According to Sarah Stanton ’18, a second elevator near the guidance department would help remedy this inconvenience.
“People need to get around the school quickly and since there is only one elevator on one side of the school, it would be easier to have two,” Stanton said.

Lorraine Dinapoli, the department chair of the special education department, has in the past vouched for the installment of another elevator.

“There is talk of building another wing,” DiNapoli said. “I suggested that they add an elevator into that wing given where it is going to be located and the distance to the current elevator, and also given the fact that we seem to have more and more students who are needing access [to the elevator].”

According to assistant principal Patrick Micinilio, however, the addition of another elevator to the existing building is ultimately a budgetary concern that would need to be resolved by the board of education.

However, the elevators are not the only pressing issue. According to Maisonet the lifts, which are located outside of the auditorium and in the art hallway, are also inconvenient.

“It would be a much better idea to just put in some form of ramp rather than having a lift,” Maisonet said. “They are just unreliable and a ramp is way more practical.”

Micinilio, however, did say that he rapidly ensures all broken or non-functioning lifts are repaired as soon as any issue is reported.

According to Maisonet, there are also small things every Staples student can do to improve transportation in the hallways.

“You can be more aware in the hallway. Do not just walk around on your phone totally oblivious to the world because not only could you bump into someone who is using a wheelchair or walker, but you can also bump into someone who is just walking around,” Maisonet said.

As of now, however, there has been no final verdict on any changes to the elevator or lift configuration at Staples High School.