Crowded hallway, crowded school

The intense growth at NHS is causing changes in multiple ways

Bergan Zebrauskas, Staff Writer

The end of summer has finally arrived, and dread fills the student body. As the first day of school rolls around, folks at NHS just might notice the cramped hallways. The crowded staircases. The overflowing classrooms. The school seems more jam-packed than last year. With the significant growth of students every year, people may notice this very thing each year.

More than 3,000 students currently attend Noblesville High School, each class bigger than the last. These classes are continuing to grow rapidly, causing the school population to grow just as fast. The students and administration have noticed the new crowds within the school, and some key changes are being made to accommodate all students in the school now, and in the future.

The current principal of Noblesville High School, Dr. Craig McCaffery, has kept a close eye on the number of students filtering in and out of the school.

“Well we’re at 3,053 students, for the last few years we’ve grown about 150-200 students every year because we are graduating smaller classes and bringing in larger classes.” 

The school administration aren’t the only ones to notice the growing class population. Student body vice president Anna Kiser, senior, mentioned the overwhelming freshman class size, as well as her classroom sizes. 

“The past few years I’ve seen the freshman class get bigger and bigger, and class sizes have gone up as well, instead of having 15 in a class, you get 30 in a class now.” Kiser said.

McCaffery knows what to expect in the future of NHS. “The bubble” as he called the current seventh grade class, is the largest class with 850 students. He has planned ahead and looked at how the school may be when that “bubble” enters the high school.

“When we built this building, we made sure we had enough lockers and classrooms for 3200 students. Now it’s going to be really tight at 3,200 students once we get there. Like really, really tight. One thing people don’t think about is we can add all the classrooms we want but we can’t make the hallways any bigger, the hallways will stay the same size, so that makes it a little bit tough.” McCaffery said

Even with the school’s population now, extra lockers and classrooms are becoming scarce. Imagine it how it could be in a few years? 

“We feel good about the number of classrooms and lockers. It probably isn’t financially responsible to add on to the highschool just for that one little bubble, we just have to survive them going through. Once they get through, we will probably fall back into where we are at now, the low 3000’s. Like 3050, 3000 or so, which is still pretty huge. We are the 11th largest high school in the state.” McCaffery stated.

Dr. McCaffery notes that the school is prepared for the growing class sizes, but does mention one change that may need to be put in motion.

“You want students to try and have the same locker, if possible, but sometimes that doesn’t always work. So we will be looking at a reshifting of how we do lockers. We will always have the freshman in the freshman center, but we will have to rezone. So what used to be the senior lockers or the upcoming senior lockers could change over time. We have 3200 lockers, so as long as they all work we should be fine.” McCaffery explained.

Lockers and classrooms aren’t the only aspect of school that is getting crowded, students who take the bus may have noticed that seating is hard to come by on the way to school in the morning.

“We have to run two rounds of buses and its still really tight out there. We are able to survive a little bit because of our number of student drivers, which is pretty high, and are numbers of parents who drop their students off…. We have lots and lots and lots and lots of buses, that’s why we made our new bus garage by west. But I think that what we have will work.” McCaffery said.

Students all over the school are being affected by the size of the school. Student government has had a new experience event planning this year.

“With the growth, student government has more people to represent throughout the school, so it has been a little harder to host events such as homecoming, just because there are so many more kids, and it’s harder to make everyone happy because there are so many more opinions you have to take into hand.” Kiser stated.

However, students are not the only people affected by the giant population of NHS. Dr. McCaffery is also making sure teachers have their rooms available for prep period. In fact, he had some experience with being a teacher in an overcrowded school.

“There is nothing worse than being a teacher on the cart. When I first started teaching I was on a cart, because the school was so big. I wasn’t here, I was at another school. I had to take a cart from classroom to classroom, because there wasn’t enough classrooms for everybody.”

The population in NHS is growing and will continue to grow, but as Kiser says, that’s not a bad thing

“Growth is always a good thing, so the growth in NHS is just another example of how good it is.”