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Kealakehe High School is currently, as the Oxford Dictionaries definesit, a wasteland, a bleak and unused or neglected urban or industrial area. The campus at Kealakehe High School is made up of dusty sidewalks, massive concrete buildings all painted a prison color grey, and an overall rundown landscape that provides nothing in the way of natural comforts.The outdoor areas are only filled by dirty concrete sidewalks and dying, unkempt grass that make all space uncomfortable for gathering. Kealakehe High School must improve its campus by developing its buildings and campus into a more appealing environment to stimulate the human mind. Kealakehe High School should develop a system of campus beautificationso as to provide an optimal learning environment for students, captivate future attendees to economically sustain the school and community, and repair the mental health of the students so they can enjoy the lives they live every day and not resent their entire existence in school.
The first graduating class at Kealakehe High School was in 2001, and ever since the efforts of the school's maintenance workers have been put to only repairing what is broken. If graffiti occurs the staff will paint over that specific area in a color they think matches the original color of the buildings, but for reasons unknown, they seem to have a hard time picking the right grey to match the old paint. This becomes a problem because the buildings then become an unattractive, unartistic patchwork of gray paint that neither students nor teachers enjoy. The schools maintenance workers may be able to cover up graffiti from time to time, but somehow they lack the resources or, more likely, the effort to complete any other tasks across the campus. Bathrooms go un-cleaned for weeks, or never opened (which specifically refers to the H-building bathrooms). Grass gets cut on the terms of the workers, which in many cases is longer than once a month, leaving tall grass for students to begrudgingly stand in on their breaks. Maintenance Workers do the jobs they are assigned during school hours and so either disrupt student learning or make outdoor social-space unusable during break time.Sidewalks go un-cleaned for years, and, in the case of a 2011-2012 school-year fight, the blood was left to be looked at for weeks after the incident until finally washed away by the rain. Buildings stay eternally covered in the excrement of birds, which only adds to the overall disgust one experiences while in attendance at this school. The tennis courts get littered with cinder rock from the track, but never get swept up and so become dangerous for student athletes to slip on during practices. The southernmost tree in the central courtyard at Kealakehe is riddled with the gum of every passing student, which then stays there until removed by weather due to the maintenance workers neglect of campus cleansing. Classrooms become dungeonesque containments for the students due to the school not having the money to replace light bulbs rendering this first world country establishment of higher learning into, at the most, a second world daycare center that, in terms of the mandatory health class, can provide little more than naptime due to the dark classroom. The trash collection system is entirely flawed, because it involves teachers or workers throwing trash next to the main road on campus for the workers to later retrieve, which gives the impression of "litter" to the student mind, and when one perceives there to be litter in an environment their overall mental wellness decreases (Dallimer, Katherine, Andrew, Zoe, James, Lorraine, Philip, Paul 47).The complete lack of sufficient work performed by Kealakahe High School's maintenance crews and the untimely nature of their work, which most often occurs when students are out in the grounds, represents the failure of this school to provide adequate conditions that students require to enjoy and flourish in the educational environment, which provokes the call for change in the way this school is managed so as to put its efforts into the revitalization of the rundown campus.
To improve Kealakehe High School, as it now stands, for the betterment of the student experience, an element of nature must be introduced to the campus of the school. Based on an article about biodiversity,"Exposure to natural environments is also associated with quicker recovery rates from surgery, increased social interaction, improved cognitive functioning, reduced mental fatigue, lower crime rates, and the provision of opportunities for reflection and stress amelioration," (Dallimer, Katherine, Andrew, Zoe, James, Lorraine, Philip, Paul, & Kevin 47). These benefits from biodiversity are things that all schools around the country are attempting to achieve for their students, but when one looks at the landscape of Kealakehe High School all that can be seen are ill-painted, dirt-covered, gray concrete buildings, gum-coated sidewalks, filthy, unusable bathrooms, uncut dying grass, dusty, asphalt streets, and ill-lit and ill-cleaned classrooms. "[Human] well-being shows a positive relationship with the richness that the green space users perceived to be present," (Dallimer, Katherine, Andrew, Zoe, James, Lorraine, Philip, Paul, & Kevin 47). With the miniscule, or nonexistent, biodiversity that Kealakehe High School currently attained, and the apparent lack of any attempt towards making the buildings and classrooms even remotely architecturally interesting, proved that students who regularly visit this school cannot gain any benefits that biodiversity can provide due to the impossibility of a student perceiving a richness in the green space of the school. If Kealakehe ever wants to better their students, it must put its energy into developing the landscape of its campus towards a bountiful abundance of diverse greenery and enjoyable surroundings.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe was an antiquated and dilapidated campus, with poor living conditions, unmanaged school grounds, and dark, poorly-lit hallways, which is very much similar to the problems Kealakehe High School faces. This university, due to the degrading campus, saw a loss of enrolment by 30 percent over seven years, and to counter this, the university brought in a new president. The immediate changes made by the president were to restore and beautify the campus. After six years of campus beautification, such as new dorms, restructure classrooms, and a new grounds team, the school saw a new record high graduation as it gave out 781 degrees (Carlson A17).Much like the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Kealakehe High School is facing financial troubles and has an inability to afford the salaries of some of its teachers. Kealakehe High School however, is a state school, and so receives funding based on student enrolment, and so with higher student enrolment comes more funding and with more funding comes adequate pay for teachers (Hawaii Department of Education Budget).Kealakehe High School has student enrollment of over 200% more than any other school in the district, about 1,600 students, and based on the fact that the school receives funding based on student population, it should be able to manage its money well enough to improve the campus to acceptable conditions (Kealakehe High School in Kailua Kona). The model of the University of Louisiana at Monroe is something Kealakehe High School needs to implement intensely into its budget so as to produce a school that becomes more enticing to new students. With an improved campus that is appealing to human beings, Kealakehe High School will be able to entice the more academically successful students that currently commute from Kailua Kona to Waimea for attendance at the Hawaii Preparatory Academy, or HPA. HPA offers a beautiful campus, comfortable classrooms, and an overall environment of abundant nature that puts ease to the minds of the students which allows them to focus on school, if Kealakehe High School provide such a campus, the students that can provide higher test scores due to academic achievement will prefer to attended it over other schools based on the fact that it is free and a shorter commute.If the schools overall test scores are improved this will attract parents from elsewhere in the word to move to this island and grow this community, because it has a school that can be trusted to provide a future for their children. The improvement of Kealakehe High Schools image through campus beautification creates a beneficial cycle for the school and for the community around it because it makes the school more enjoyable for students.
In the environment that Kealakehe High School currently maintains, a student can feel disgusted, disdainful, or even depressed. The large concert buildings painted in the grey of prison colors, the bar-like constructs covering the bottom floor windows, and the dusty, barren landscape encompassing the entire school, reduce the "psychological well-being" of the students that are contained in it every day(Dallimer, Katherine, Andrew, Zoe, James, Lorraine, Philip, Paul, & Kevin 47). People need a variety of nature and an interesting appeal in the architecture of the buildings to feel a sense of happiness in their daily lives. Seven hours of everyKealakehe High School students day is spent in the confinement of the prison-like school, complete with a chain-link fence surrounding and security guards on patrol to detain any person that wants to "escape" from the sensation of hatred towards the school. As a student at Kealakehe High School, one hears everyday about the incredibly horrible scenery it provides as the environment of learning for the community's children. If every student hates the look of the school it shows their mental health from attending it is deteriorating and so something must change to improve the mental state of the students. "[A persons] psychological well- being is enhanced in publicly accessible and managed urban green spaces and people demonstrate a greater aesthetic appreciation for more-diverse plant communities  potentially through the development of positive emotional bonds, a sense of identity, and facilitating reflection and recovery from mental fatigue,"(Dallimer, Katherine, Andrew, Zoe, James, Lorraine, Philip, Paul47). If the mental health of the student body at Kealakehe High School is degraded, and the obvious cause is the school grounds, and it is proven that the "psychological well-being" of the students can be improved with the increase of green space, it must be the schools responsibility to fix this massive problem it has developed for itself.
Improving the general beauty of Kealakehe High School is something that every party involved can agree on, and therefore the opposition to this plan comes from the idea that the school has no budget to improve the institution it has set up and so must do only what is necessary for the future functionality of its buildings and classrooms. People believe that without enough money to begin with the school cannot afford to develop a new image for itself and instead must cut back to only the necessary payments for the education of the students. This statement, however, is irrelevant and ill conceived. There is so much fault in this statement against implementing a system to recreate the campus landscaping, but the predominant mistakes it holds are the facts that the school does not function properly as it is, it fails to even keep up with necessary maintenance and if the school were to be remade into the magnificently enjoyable stately institution that is should be, it would bring in more student enrolment and more money to fix the problem of insufficient funds and so it pays for itself in the end. The school can fix itself if it fixes its campus, and opposition to a campus beautification program is opposition to Kealakehe High School itself.
Kealakehe High School needs to change the horrifically terrible scenery and architecturally awful plan so that it can improve the lives of the students that attend it. If the school implements a plan to increase the beautification and biodiversity of the natural life that it maintains, the students will have increased mental wellness and an overall improved happiness that will provide the proper environment for education and will draw in a new level of student enrollment which will sustain the school monetarily as well as revitalize the economy of the community. The idea is not only for Kealakehe High School management to change, it is also for the people in it, the students and those in Student Council who represent us. Many schools across the country have seen drastic changes from Student Council alone; a student organization at the University of Tennessee did so much work to improve their school, but when they were done, they found that so much could still be improved, and so they developed a plan for future generations of attendees to fix everything that needed to be done (Carvey). This is a call to all of Kealakehe High School student representatives to take up this task and fix our school. The benefit the Kealakehe High School can attain from campus beautification are the key elements it needs to become a lasting institution in the community of Kailua Kona.
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