Gym rooms pose problems for athletes
Blair's P.E. department has a poor design that causes problems with ventilation, privacy, security and space, all of which make use of the P.E. department somewhat difficult for staff and students, said coaches and teachers.
The most noticeable effect of the poor ventilation is the "awful stench," as junior Erika Pelz-Butler terms it, that permeates the hall.
According to Building Services Engineer Reginald Tobin, who controls Blair's ventilation and airflow, there is no stagnant air anywhere in the building, and "fresh air comes in all day, every day." Tobin blames the smell on teams' equipment.
Junior varsity football coach Reginald Spears said that the smell could be reduced if the team rooms had a window or an exhaust fan.
P.E. Resource Teacher Cynthia Changuris remembers that the old Blair had large manually controlled exhaust fans in the main gym, which helped control the smell. Blair has computer-operated exhaust fans that are not visible because of the modern design, according to Tobin.
Spears believes the P.E. department was not built with athletics in mind. "It's a poor design in general," he said.
Changuris feels that the P.E. department has many problems that most other high schools don't have.
MCPS Project Manager James Song was unavailable for comment on the abnormal design of Blair's P.E. department.
Athletic Director Dale Miller is content with the department's overall design but identifies the team rooms as an "unusual" problem. "There are no showers, no restrooms, and it's not accessible to the locker rooms. It's terrible," he said.
Another problem with the team rooms is their lack of privacy. People in the hallways have a direct view of the room when the door is open, said Changuris.
P.E. teacher Louis Hoelman said that he can't advocate proper hydration when there are so few water fountains. In the whole department, there are only two water fountains inside the boys' and girls' locker rooms.
Blair's poor design is partially responsible for frequent break-ins to the weight room, according to Changuris. "Unlike the doors in the main gym that open outward, these ones open inward, so kids try to bang it in," said Changuris.
Julia Gabriel. My name is Julia, but some people call me moonpie. I have lived in Silver Spring all my life and one day I hope to live in Colorado. I have two sisters, two parents and one dog. Occasionally I have a hamster but they tend … More »