99 Problems, But The Paint Ain’t One

by Olivia Paluzzi
Class of 2015

For $12,046 one could buy 12,046 Expo markers, 6,023 boxes of Puffs Tissues, 15,248 packages of Crayola colored chalk, 5,904 single subject notebooks, approximately 10 discounted ponies, or rent a small private jet for 4 and a half hours.

Or one could be like Braintree High School and decide to repaint all of the classrooms.

After talking with an anonymous expert, I have estimated that it costs $12,046 to repaint all ninety five average sized classrooms, seventeen science classrooms, the chorus room, and the band room. An average sized classroom is an inside or outside classroom that’s not a science room. This is based on an estimate of $13 for one gallon of paint. An average room needs about two gallons and takes about two hours to paint. The town pays the painters approximately $35 an hour. One normal sized classroom costs $98. A science classroom costs $144. These numbers are not counting the time it takes to move all of the furniture into and out of the classroom.

Repainting the classrooms takes time and this causes teachers to have to relocate their classes for the whole day. This is inconvenient. Why can’t the school wait until a break or until summer vacation when there are no classes to disrupt? Repainting the classrooms during the school year is illogical. Usually procrastination is frowned upon but is there a reason this needs to be done now? I remember when one of my classes relocated because of the repainting. As expected, the class was distracted and did not accomplish much that day. It was hard to focus in the unfamiliar room and when we got to return to our normal class, it took time to get use to the new color. Our formerly cheerful yellow class was now a shocking darker blue which made the class seem cramped and small.

In addition to cost, the new colors are a problem. The school presents the teachers with three choices: blue, green, or grey/tan. Colors have a strong influence on students and teachers. While some find blue calming, others find it exhausting and frigid. Green can be creative but it is also possessive and competitive. Grey is anxious and indecisive. The panels found in redone classrooms are painted black. The color black is overpowering and oppressive. The chorus and band rooms are now painted tan and red. Tan is dry and irritating and red is the color of anger and of communism. While some teachers believe that the new darker colors will help focus their students, some students think that the colors are overbearing. From my personal experience, I usually feel slightly claustrophobic in dark panel rooms. I accidentally fall asleep in green and blue classrooms. Is this just a coincidence because I am a naturally tired person? I don’t usually fall asleep in yellow classrooms.

One can assume that with every new coat of paint, there will be students who question why the repainting happens. They say that the way it was was fine. Why fix what isn’t broken? If the classrooms looked decrepit and disgusting, I could understand why the town would do this. What does look decrepit and disgusting are the ceiling tiles that leak. And the gym locker room floors that are painted instead of cleaned. The ceiling of the auditorium leaks and there are mice running around the first floor art wing and the cafeteria. Classrooms are freezing and the computers are painfully slow.

But at least the classrooms are being repainted.

Olivia Paluzzi is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition