The Problematic Stairs at Carver

Main staircase at Carver Center (Taken by Thomas Armstrong)

The four stairs here at the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology are a unique case (pun not intended, I’m so sorry).

Due to Covid restrictions, every staircase is limited to one direction in order to control the flow of students and teachers. The center stairs lead to the upper levels and the two outermost stairs lead down to lower levels. This idea is for the overall safety of the students and staff but in practice can be less than functional.

The central staircases, the ones students are use to go up, are notably the smallest. Adding to this, the grand staircase only leads to the second floor, which means every student who wishes to travel to the third floor has to pack into the single smallest stairwell. Adding to the crowd, some students have the tenacity to travel down the up stairs. This renders the plan ineffective. The whole reason for this rule was to prevent the crowding of students in the area.

I would like to propose two ideas to help fix this problem. We could A. Dedicate the outermost staircases to go both ways since they are the widest and built for two-way travel. Or B. Switch the direction of the staircases. The central most staircase might still get tight, but people move faster when going down as opposed to up. I’m not implying that these ideas are sure to work, but it might be an improvement on our current plan.