SAMIKA PARAB, senior
Over this summer, JP’s interior and exterior infrastructure experienced some major changes to accommodate the overwhelming 650 students of the class of 2019.
Large and white with expansive glass walls, the first of these changes, the greenhouse, sits right outside the cafeteria. Construction lasted around eight days, but it took much longer to allocate the funds needed for the building in the first place. The project was first announced two years ago with the intent of encouraging environment-friendly practices within the JP community. The fundraising team emphasized that it is vital to teach teenagers how to make greener choices so they are equipped to carry out these practices in the future. The greenhouse cost $65,000, paid for by numerous parents and the support of local organizations. Some community supporters include Rutgers University Horticultural Therapy Program, Edison Wetlands Association and Triple C Farms, Students for Environmental Awareness, and Project Pieces. Now that the greenhouse is built, the fundraising team is still looking for donations to buy the items that will be put inside. Students in the Multiply Disabled (MD) program will be in charge of maintenance, while Culinary Arts, Biology, and Environmental Science classes expect to have hands-on learning experiences.
The next two drastic changes were implemented primarily to make more room for the growing student body. Across from the greenhouse stands a row of trailers constructed to accommodate health and government classes. Complete with air conditioning and carpets, the trailers represent a different type of classroom setting for students of all grade levels. Senior Sanjna Navashivayam, who has health class in a trailer classroom this year, commented, “The JP trailers are well-kept and sophisticated. It doesn’t feel any different than having class in the main building.” Along with more class space, new lockers have been added throughout the school to accommodate the incoming freshman class and, for the first time, they are stacked one on top of another. Many students find that these lockers are better for storing their books than the regular ones, an opinion that senior Jill Patel confirmed. She said, “When I got assigned one of the new lockers, I wasn’t exactly happy about it. I thought that having a locker above or below me could cause a problem. But, I found that these lockers are much wider and much better at containing my bulky backpack.”
Indeed, the newest additions at JP are taking both students and staff by surprise. While some were anticipated and others were unexpected, all these changes add to the growth of the school that continues to evolve into something nothing short of excellence. These additions signify the school’s innovative ways to incorporate new methods of learning and to accommodate its growing student body.