Blue Valley Southwest is Starting to Fill Up

Southwest students pack the hallways between classes

Southwest students pack the hallways between classes

The mass of students are filling up the staircase. That kid in  the middle of them is walking slower than the grass grows. The two-minute warning bell rings as the stairs finally start to clear. A speed-walk will be necessary to reach class on time and avoid a trip to the tardy-tracker.

It’s a bit more difficult to get to class this year. The hallways of Southwest are finally full.

Since the school’s first year the student population has rapidly expanded, and now the school has a little over 1,000 students. Southwest is still small, by normal public school standards, but the school is starting to catch up.

The amount of students at the school has certainly grown since year one. The school ended the first official year with 786 students, and currently has 1,074 students enrolled. The hallways being crowded is certainly something new for the seniors, who will be the first graduating class to go all four years at the school.

The amount of students in the hallway has noticeably grown

“The hallways are definitely more crowded,” senior Rachel Kirby said. “It makes it harder to get around the school, but it’s so exciting to see the school getting more students.”

In 2010, 786 students were enrolled at the school. Many of those students who had transferred from their old schools returned soon after becoming Timberwolves.

“It was kind of sad seeing so many people switch back to their old high schools,” Kirby said. “I think the community of people we have at Southwest is something the other schools didn’t have.”

Even after losing so many students to transfers, Southwest is starting to make a comeback numerically. Aubry Bend Middle School was built for the 2011-2012 school year and since has serviced Southwest as its main feeder middle school. The new freshmen class has the most students so far in Southwest’s short history as a high school.

With more students enrolling at Southwest comes the chances of student life being disrupted.

“Getting to school can be an issue sometimes,” sophomore Collin Webber said. “The four-way stop sign on Quivira is really bad.”

Between the times of 7:25 and 7:40, a traffic gridlock will most likely be present at  the intersection at Quivira Road and 175th Street. Most students come from the north, and trying to get to school can be problematic.

“The first week was terrible with traffic,” junior Marise Ibraham said. “I was late to school multiple times even though I left early.”

Students have to leave their house early so they can get to their classes before they hear the bell ring.

“I really think they need to add a stoplight at that intersection,” sophomore Jack Weidner said.

A traffic light would lessen the backup on Quivira Road but would also slow down the traffic flow during the rest of the day when it’s not needed.

More students at the school means fewer parking spaces available; however, the school is currently well- equipped with areas for students to park. Southwest has 826 parking spaces; which, for the time being is enough, but with the school gaining more students there will most likely have to be more parking restrictions for underclassmen.

“There are a lot more cars in the parking lot,” Kirby said. “If you don’t get to school early enough, then you have to park further away, which can be stressful.”

Cafeteria lines are also longer. Getting food can actually be a long and annoying process, especially if the kid in front of you keeps punching in his code wrong. The cafeteria has added two extra cash registers to speed up the flow of the lines, but with more and more students inside the cafeteria area at once comes the chance of bumping into someone holding a tray with a heap of mashed potatoes that could end up on someone’s brand new shorts. With the amount of students growing at the school, adding more lunch periods may be necessary, which could result in shorter lunches.

Some of the issues with the hallway being overcrowded can be avoided.

“The freshmen will sometimes just stand in the middle of the hallway and talk,” Ibraham said.

With the school starting to fill up, students, especially the new ones will need to start learning basic hallway etiquette. Simple things, like to not stand in the middle of the hallway and chit-chat with a friend, or to be glued to a phone screen while walking. School administration recognized the student growth, and hired 10 new staff members, most of which are core class instructors.

“Everyone is a real Timberwolf now,” senior Sarah Spore said. “The people at our school now actually want to be Timberwolves, not Jaguars and Tigers.”


| michaelmagyar