Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Students work on homework during break Feb. 28 in K10. K10 was converted from a classroom to a quiet study room for students to work on classwork.
Room change proves student opinions affect change, serves unique role on campus
By Hayden Welty ’19
A classroom until this semester, Keating 10 is now a quiet study room for students who want to get work done effectively on flex periods.
“The purpose is to create a quiet space for diligent, focused, disciplined students who want to spend flex periods … to go work and have a place where hopefully, without the policing of adults,” said Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs Mr. Seamus Walsh.“They can be free to get work done on their own unmolested or uninterrupted by movement, by the elements outside, and by kids messing around.”
Mr. Walsh said that Grant Hushek ’17 is the reason the space exists. Hushek sent an email to Mr. Walsh last year asking if there was anywhere students can go on flex to be productive.
In response, the administration opened a faculty workroom last year in the Eller building to a group of students looking to be effective in their use of flex time.
Mr. Walsh said that he really appreciates that’s something students want to do.
“I think that students often get the reputation that they just want to game all the time,” he said. “I think it’s easy to default to the reputation as opposed to remembering that there’s a lot of kids here that want to get their work done, that want to take advantage of flex, so that they’re not staying up an extra hour.”
Hushek contacted Mr. Walsh again this year and asked about creating a possible quiet space.
“Once he brought it up, it had been a conversation with myself, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Mulloy, some of the other people on the admin team and Dean Higgins,” he said. “It was just a question of ‘Alright, well, where can we do this, what’s it going to look like?’”
Other factors also contributed to the furnishing of this new area.
“When the admin team asked students to take a survey about the strength and weaknesses of Brophy in the fall, many different students brought up the fact that they want a quiet study space during flex periods,” Mr. Walsh said.
Initially, they talked about trying to set up a seven-period rotation of classrooms that would be open to students, but setting that up would be too complicated, Mr. Walsh said.
After “the Dutch” opened this semester, Mr. Antonioli was given a new classroom space, opening up his previous room K10 for another use.
Mr. Walsh said that K10 was originally going to be used for storage and student council activities, but because students were expressing their desire for a quiet student space, the decision was made that the room should become that quiet area.
“There was no greater need than meeting the need of the students,” Mr. Walsh said about the decision to repurpose K10.
Initially, there was just some scattered stuff left after Mr. Antonioli moved out, so Mr. Walsh asked the maintenance department to see if they could help him furnish the room.
The group gathered some old tables leftover from the library before the Innovation Commons, collecting them from storage in the Post Office lot. They also grabbed six desks from a storage room on the third floor of Eller.
“Maintenance was great,” Mr. Walsh said. “They had it turned over in like 48 hours.”
The room now services students every day as a quiet area to go study and work.
“It all happened sort of quickly,” Mr. Walsh said of the process of establishing the room. “Unfortunately, it just took a long time for it to get to the quickly happening [stage] because we just didn’t have a room to do it.”
Sophomore Bryce Dyer ’19 said that he uses the room almost every other day.
He said that he thinks that it’s nice to have a quiet, focused environment available to students. During his freshmen year, Dyer said that he used the Fr. Renna Reading Room, but when people started to find out about it, it got too noisy and busy.
Ronald Heyman ’19 agrees that it’s a nice quiet zone, especially because not many people use it.
“I went during my Deacon [Stickney] flexes and just sat in there and did some homework,” he said. “All around, it’s a nice place to go if you have a flex.”
Heyman says that another perk of being in K10 is the WiFi.
“Before when I had flexes I would just go to the balcony or right next to the balcony in Eller, and not only was that in the hallways, but the WiFi wasn’t very good,” he said. “It’s nice to just be in Keating to use the WiFi.”
Mr. Walsh echoed the sentiment that room is not too crowded or busy with other students.
“Numbers tend to range from three to 10,” he said. “I’ve never seen 30 in there, but I’ve never seen nobody in there”
Mr. Walsh said that he’s not quite sure what K10 will look like in the future.
“It’s a small arena, and I’m hoping that in the future we can create a bigger space or more small spaces like that… ,” he said. “I don’t what it’s going to look like next year, but it’s a priority of ours to make sure there is a place where kids can go get work done.”