At the present time, the History Hall is a lengthy hallway devoid of character or any indication that it is a place of learning other than the ugly orange lockers that line the hall.
In the middle of the hallway is a space that I will call a sub-hallway. It is clearly meant to be a pass-through to the library. There are rooms to the right/east in a cluster that were once offices and are now storage rooms, and we do need to preserve access to those rooms. The door at the front/north end of the sub-hallway leads to a staircase to the library. I am told it must be kept clear for the purposes of fire safety, but the door itself is kept locked all day long and no one on the hallway (myself included) has a key to open it. The walls in the area are blank, and the space is unused.
I think the space provides a terrific opportunity for us to utilize for collaboration and to unify the history hall. To that end, I would like it to be less sterile in appearance, and more welcoming in use.
I would envision the following:
One or two mounted TV’s (secured to the wall and linked with Apple TV). The TV controls should not be available to students, the volume should be on mute with CC on. The TV’s could be used to stream images of students’ work in history classes, news/current events, or to provide students with a way to preview their presentations on a larger screen.
Square tables and chairs, not fixed, and not attached to each other, but able to be reconfigured for different use. Both should be functional, not comfortable. There is not a need for fabric covered anything. Ideally, the furniture should be stackable and be able to shrink to a small footprint for when students need the whole space for a project.
I’m not looking for a place for people to relax and hang out, and in no way should this space look like a lounge. It should be an extension of the classroom, where teachers can direct students who are doing group work and need to expand beyond the classroom confines, and where students can record skits/performances, or consume media without disrupting classroom activities, and accomplish work they may be doing for classes that are hybrid or on-line. As a result, students should be using this space under the direction of a teacher. If they are not assigned to the space for a part of a class, they should not be there. And teachers will need to come out of the classroom to supervise students who work there.
The space should look nice, be painted in appealing colors and have good quality furniture, places for trash, and no food options. (i.e.: no vending machines.) There should be a way for students to stash or store backpacks while working so they are not strewn all over the floor, and there should be a way to plug in and charge devices while they work as well. The space should be well lit, and have no alcoves.