Bring Back the Murals

The No-Good, Very Bland Hallways


Bernard Hermant via Unsplash

Freshmen and sophomores may not remember a time before the blank white walls of the math wing, but those of us with a couple more years under our belts certainly do. Back in the day, murals were a staple of the math wing commute. The change to blank white walls came as a shock to many, and left others wondering why they were painted over in the first place.

The more aged among us can recall a time nearly lost to the recesses of sophomore and freshman year memory, a time where color and design reigned supreme in the hallways, before deafening, oppressive white walls became the norm. Among the most prominent lost relics of this school’s painted era were the beloved math wing murals, which were covered after 2017’s sweeping school renovations. 

For those too young to remember to glory days of a math wing – when it didn’t feel like a section of a sterile, hopeless hospital – allow me to paint the scene. The math wing used to feature around 30 full-sized floor to ceiling murals designed by various classes, centered around intricate designs and clever puns, usually relating to the math concepts the students learned throughout the year. “[The murals] added a fun and lively element to the math wing,” senior Ava Anglin said, adding “things that are white scare me.” Indeed the oppressive, all-consuming blank walls leave many visitors feeling uncomfortable. During the recent Boulder High showcase night for prospective 8th-grade students and families on Thursday, Dec. 6, fellow senior and Panther Pride member Olivia Normandeau noted that one child said, “This hallway looks like something from Stranger Things.” Though calculus is for many a spine-chilling subject, it’s generally not ideal to have our hallways feel straight out of a televised  horror show, and this is certainly not the impression this school should be aiming to leave on its prospective students. Senior Carson Williams added that “the walls feel like they’re caving in on you now.” When polled, 16 out of 16 seniors agreed that the math wing stands to benefit greatly from bringing student art back to the blank slate. The murals uplifted students’ spirits as they trudged slowly through the crowded single hallway, “they spiced things up on the way to class,” said senior Henry Cain. Or at least, they did until they were painted over.

The murals’ sudden disappearance came as a shock. Many argued that the murals brought joy and entertainment to an otherwise dreary journey between classes and stood as iconic monuments to the classes of Boulder High past. Which leaves many wondering, why were they ever removed? The short answer is that while the school was under construction, most of the hallways received a fresh coat of paint, and the beloved murals were not spared from the same fate. Math teacher Eric Maier has informed us that the issue was brought up during the last department meeting, and that though “not everybody is on board… if they were tasteful and well-done, they’d be all for it.” It seems that a spruce-up for this section of the school may be on the horizon, though Mr. Maier said that there are not currently any active plans underway at this time.