WHHS art club beautifies school with bathroom stall decoration


Alonzo Montgomery

Micah Ballard, ‘21, vigorously sands the inside of a stall in preparation for decorating. Art club members hope this will not only beautify the school, but also discourage vandalism.

 Change is coming to the restroom stalls at WHHS. 

The Art Club, advised by art teacher, Kim Watling, has planned to  paint the stalls with beautiful designs to combat the issue and beautify WHHS’ s campus. They are starting with the first-floor Arts and Science wing bathrooms. 

They hope to expand this throughout the school, but everything has to start somewhere; this is the place they chose. 

SENIOR Ashley Veldhaus, the club’s president, presented the idea after seeing a study about vandalism in schools and the effect that painting art over it was having on the school and its students.  She presented it to the club, and Watling contacted the alumni office to see if they would help fund it. They said yes, so now Art Club can do everything they need to do as far as prep work.

The process is starting with the sanding of the stalls.  Sanding is when a sand scraper or power tool is used to smooth the surface of something. 

As far as final design, the Art Clubs toggled between the choice of having words in the design  and not having words.

“We have a  design that’s pretty well set. It’s just a matter of approving the words,” Watling said, “We discussed in the art club , ‘do you think the words will make a difference, or do you think students will tend to write [or] vandalize’  if you put words, they’ll want to write more words on there.”

Having words or not might not sound like it’s a big decision, but it actually is. Most of the vandalism  in the stalls is like a call -and- response. A person can come in and write or draw something and the next person that comes in will see it and potentially respond.  The cycle keeps going on and on, causing the magnitude of vandalism seen on the stalls now. 

This might be just the thing to help stop the vandalizing.

— SENIOR Ashley Veldhaus

While they have yet to receive the final greenlight for what design is actually going on the stalls, Art Club  does have permission to do all the needed prep work, so they can sand, prime, and paint the background. They hope to have the girls bathroom done before students get back from winter break. 

And the club has expansion in mind. They want to decorate every bathroom; and they hope to have this project done by the end of the school year. 

Watling said that they’ll see how this first one goes and then decide whether to continue with the project.

“We’ll also be more experienced and know what we need to do and what works best and what doesn’t,” Veldhaus said. “This might be just the thing to help stop the vandalizing.”