By Sarah Long

Hundreds of lockers at Andover High School aren’t used in this day and age.

According to Assistant Principal Darlington, only 30 to 40 kids in our school of 1,800 students use their lockers. Meaning 2% of the students at AHS use their lockers while there are hundreds available.

Dozens of students flood the stairway as the dismissal bell rings. There are 1,800 kids that attend the school, so it’s no surprise that every stairway looks that way at 2:05 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Long)

They still exist, taking up valuable room in the halls that could be used for extra work space or to reduce student traffic. If the lockers were taken out, AHS could potentially be a more open school with less crowding . Darlington states how the halls “aren’t as wide as they should be according to the state regulations for schools, so they’re definitely too narrow for the [number] of kids that we have in the building.”

The space that the lockers take up could be used for better uses. Darlington noted the area that replaced the lockers up on the third floor:  “It’s more of like a nook where people can study or relax before school or between classes and things like that,” he said. “I know there’s also in the long term an effort to either renovate or build a new Andover High School and as part of that they would definitely…create new spaces that would be more friendly to kids.”

Darlington noted that even though the majority of the school doesn’t use their lockers, they could still have some available for the people who still want to.

From the standpoint of senior custodian Mr. Cataldo, a few lockers here and there along with some replacements would be a better bargain for their work. “In this day and age I don’t think [AHS lockers are necessary]. I mean mostly because of the fact that [students] have laptops and iPads, there’s not such a need for them.”

Cataldo said that the custodians spend a couple days in the summer cleaning out all the lockers.

Cataldo has worked at the high school for 16 years, and has seen the switch from binders to laptops, and understands that everything’s on devices now. The senior custodian believes that a concept like “genius bars,” workspaces in the halls in replace of the lockers, is preferred as he looks back on the duties of his job. “I mean obviously it’s an open concept so it’d be probably be a lot easier,” said Cataldo. “You’d just have to take care of them.”

Freshman Abby Miller said that if an open concept idea like “genius bars” were to come to our school, she would like it. “I feel that when you’re doing group projects in the classroom it’s really loud, so when you go out into the hallway, it’s a much better working environment to be in,” she said.

Miller said that in her four years at AHS, she doesn’t believe she’ll need a locker because she just carries her backpack around all day.