Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Orchard Park High School
Orchard Park High School is located at 4040 Baker Road, Orchard Park, New York. The school has approximately 1700 students in grades 9-12. The students are divided among three houses, with a principal for each house and a principal which oversees the entire school.
Building design and specifications
The main portion of the current high school building was completed in the late 1940s, and served from then until 1977 as the Junior High. In 1977, a large addition and renovation process doubled the size of the building and it became the High School. (The former High School became a Middle School, which currently houses Grades 6-8.) The building has undergone only minimal refurbishment and changes since the late 1970s.
Extracurricular and cocurricular activities
The school has a variety of athletics teams including Baseball, Basketball, Football, Tennis, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, and Gymnastics. It also has a championship winning Marching Band (otherwise known as the Quaker Marching Band), student government, math club, science club, Destination Imagination, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Teachers of America. The school also boasts an interactive student, teacher, parent and administrator program called STAP-Comm.
School spirit and traditions
The school mascot is the Quaker and the school colors are Maroon and White.
Like any other high school, Orchard Park has its share of unique traditions. Freshmen asking for directions are often pointed towards the nonexistent "fourth floor" of the three-story building, even being tricked into climbing a restricted ladder that leads to the roof. Members of the High School drama club, especially male members, consider it a mark of honor to sneak into the catwalks above the auditorium. Many rumors surround the school pool, which is undeniably overtreated and causes many students ocular discomfort. The pool has a textured floor and sides which often cut students, sometimes seriously.
The Freeman Rd. lot is reserved for teacher and faculty parking, while the Baker Rd. lot provides spaces for all vehicle-equipped seniors and visitors to the High School. The Mormon Church accross the street from the High School graciously allows seniors the use of their parking lots during the week, as they have only weekend services, while a distant lot at the Athletic Field provides space for juniors, who must have a valid reason for driving to school such as a job, and also seniors who have been banished from the closer lots for breaking parking rules, such as not clearing the Baker Lot by 4:00PM on Marching Band practice days.
Recently, Orchard Park High School has been the focal point of budget proposals to increase the size of the school in order to accommodate the students. Proponents argue the current school is not well suited for such a large number of students, and opponents stress the high costs of opening a new school. After a 2002 budget defeat during which local radio personality "Sandy Beach" dubbed the proposed new High School the "Taj Mahal," a conservative school board was elected which scrapped all plans to build any new facilities or even perform necessary repairs upon the existing buildings.
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