High school students from Atmosphere Academy are using Hayden Hall. ATMOSPHERE ACADEMY/COURTESY
By Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor
Manhattan College students in Hayden Hall have welcomed new neighbors this semester: high school students from Atmosphere Academy, a charter school just down the block from the college’s campus on 242 Street and Broadway.
As the college did not make any announcements or clarifications to its students at the beginning of the semester, some MC students have told The Quadrangle that there has been confusion and some disruption due to Atmosphere’s presence on campus.
A Manhattan College administration official told The Quadrangle that Atmosphere Academy is renting the second floor of MC’s Hayden Hall to accommodate their students in grades nine through 12.
According to the college, Atmosphere is currently unable to use their usual building, and therefore reached out to MC for a temporary arrangement.
The Atmosphere students began using Hayden in September and are set to use the building until December. It is a short-term arrangement and will not impact long-term use of the building, the college said in a statement to The Quadrangle.
“As a neighbor and friend of the school, the College assisted it with this very temporary arrangement as a swing space while its building across the street from our main entrance was being completed. It was our understanding that the school had few if any options due to the unavailability of its building,” the college stated.
The college’s administration said that they apologize for any confusion regarding the arrangement with Atmosphere.
“Given the short-term nature of the agreement and that the arrangement was never intended to be permanent, there was no formal announcement,” the college stated. “By offering this three-month rental to the charter school, we are providing important support to our community partners. Atmosphere Academy is a valuable asset to our neighborhood, and the College is pleased to be able to assist them in this way.”
A Manhattan College administration official told The Quadrangle that Atmosphere students also have access to other facilities on campus, such as Locke’s Loft and O’Malley Library, when with a chaperone from the Academy.
Atmosphere Academy did not provide a comment to The Quadrangle.
Hayden Hall has primarily been used by the Kakos School of Science. The dean, Marcy Peteroy-Kelly, Ph.D., told The Quadrangle that she does not feel the arrangement has caused any issues for students so far this semester.
“We’ve been able to effectively move things around as needed and are happy that we can help out our neighbors,” Kelly said.
However, some Manhattan students believe the arrangement has caused some disruption and confusion.
Derrick De Los Reyes, a junior sound studies major, told The Quadrangle he wishes the college gave an announcement to students at the beginning of the semester.
As Reyes takes three classes in Hayden this semester, including two music courses and one science course, he said there is an impact on having the Atmosphere students around.
“I have never noticed there being that many classes, because [this semester], I did hear a lot of ruckus coming from that section and I didn’t understand why at first,” Reyes said.
Reyes said it would have been important for students to be notified, as there are recording rooms for sound studies and music students in Hayden, and the added volume of students on the second floor has made recording music on the first floor more difficult.
“That noise and ruckus is going to be kind of distracting for us, so it kind of hinders our ability to be productive,” Reyes said.
Reyes said he was never given any information about the arrangement, and had to slowly figure out what was going on after noticing certain doors would be locked, there were security guards on the second floor and the stairwells would be crowded with younger-looking students at certain times of the day.
Jackie Lubarsky, a senior digital media art major, said she also noticed a lot of disruption in Hayden Hall this semester. Lubarsky takes a senior portfolio class and a photography class in the building, and said she spends a lot of extra time working in the digital media art lab for her coursework.
Lubarsky told The Quadrangle that she and her classmates have been confused as they were not informed about the arrangement by the college.
“We just noticed more noise if we were presenting. We would have to either pause the presentations and wait till the noise slowed down, or just speak louder than normal,” Lubarsky said.
Lubarksy said it has been a disruption to her classes, especially when she and her classmates would go into the halls or around the building to complete assignments for their photography class, as they would often encounter crowds of students in the hallways.
“Just [having] more clarification on it would have been a lot of help,” Lubarsky said.