Lack of MPR leaves students without shelter

The old MPR was reconstructed over the summer and was completed in September 2013.
The old MPR was reconstructed over the summer and was completed in September 2013. Photo by Ashley Han.

By Kellen Browning,
HUB Correspondent–

Davis High has more students than any other school in Davis, yet it is the only school missing an MPR, or multi-purpose-room.

On June 12, 2012, the Davis Joint Unified School District’s Board of Education decided to begin demolition of DHS’ old MPR.

The MPR and cafeteria had been closed since 2010 when mold spores were found inside the building. In the time between closing and demolishing the MPR, the Board of Education deliberated on whether to rebuild it or turn the space into something new.

“We decided not to rebuild the MPR because we did not currently have access to the amount of funds needed to build a new one,” resident of the Board Sheila Allen said

The funds needed were estimated at $11 million, so the Board instead decided to tear down the MPR and create a shade structure with picnic tables instead.

The shade structure was selected over other considered options, like basketball courts or a turf area because “turf under picnic tables would be difficult to maintain and keep clean. The need for lunch area was of higher importance than basketball courts,” Allen said.

The lack of an MPR could be a concern for students on rainy days.

Junior Bryanne Potoski recalled her past experience during rainy weather and acknowledged that the current system works well.

“Usually, I ate in the hall by the library, but it gets really crowded […] I think what we have now is fine; it’s not worth [building an MPR] because people can leave on block days,” Potoski said.

Senior Andrew Leung agrees with Potoski.

“We never used the MPR in my time at the high school. A lot of people go upstairs in the L building hallways […] maybe the gym,” Leung said.

Leung also has a solution for the lack of shelter during rain, saying he and his friends eat “either in somebody’s classroom or we walk around.”

There can be issues with eating in classrooms or in the L-wing, however. English teacher and track coach Spencer Elliott noted that there have been issues with students eating lunch in the hallways in the past.

“Once it starts raining, there are more people in the hallways and it causes a problem. There are frequent minor issues […] people leaving garbage out; it’s a mess,” Elliott said.

Elliott added that having an MPR may not be feasible.

“I think it would be cool, but it may not be a good idea due to the costs,” Elliott said.

Senior Nathan de Ropp, a DHS Site Council member, also believes that an MPR is unnecessary.

“People somehow make do. I ate under the Community Pool overhang,” de Ropp said.

De Ropp is also a part of Student Forum, and said that the Forum discussed possibilities for renovation, including extra parking, lunch tables, and basketball courts, but never had an actual vote.

“The year ended and the school hadn’t decided, so the administration decided,” de Ropp said.

The administration did not decide alone.

“We did have a survey of students and DHS staff presented to us,” Allen said.

The survey asked what should be done about the MPR, and over 90% voted to demolish the building and build something new. Nearly half the respondents were students.

“I think that for the most part, students had a big enough say in the decision,” de Ropp said.

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