A Colorful Controversy

While students are often preoccupied with their schoolwork and social lives, many people have started to notice that some changes were made behind the scenes. Upon arriving back at school after the summer, C&C students were greeted by some major changes in hue, most notably in the 12th Street Building.

The classic blue and white color scheme was changed into orange and a darker blue by the Aesthetics Committee last year. While this may not seem like a big deal, a few students objected to this change. “Why would you change the color? It was fine just the way it was,” Marco, XIIIs, said, expressing his confusion after returning to school.

Tara DiGerlando, the VIs Teacher, is the chair of the Aesthetics Committee. When asked about its mission, she said, “We are looking to figure out, in school, what needs to function and look better.” She added, “It’s really about thinking about the form, function, and look of certain areas around school.”

Some past accomplishments of the committee are reorganizing the lobby by adding an archive case and plants, making community bulletin boards and announcement boards, and now changing the colors of our hallways. The concept of changing colors was first conceived in the fall of 2017. Tara brought it up during a meeting, and it was generally agreed that a change should be considered. Eventually, a team consisting of Tara DiGerlando, Elise Bauer, and Erin Teesdale took on the task.

Why change the colors? Just for the sake of keeping things fresh? Well, Tara conveyed a compelling argument as to why the decision was just as practical as it was aesthetic. First, no one on the Committee could remember a time when it wasn’t the classic light blue that we had last year. This light blue, while fun, reminded Tara of a hospital, which shouldn’t be our ideal school aesthetic. The appearance of the school shapes how other people perceive City and Country, and it isn’t in a school’s best interest to look like a hospital. On the other hand, the new blue has also warranted complaints. Daisy Kenyon-Bishop said, “The blue is too dark and makes the hallway and stairwell very dark.” Five other students agreed. However, on the practical side of things, the lighter the color, the more obvious dirt on the walls is. Tara’s team also considered the colors’ effect on our learning environment. They were worried that a bright red would get kids too excited. Blue was “cool and calming,” and not as boring as grey. Tara specifically likes that the new color is strong and definitely noticeable, yet still subtle and non-distracting. During the transition between Fall and Winter of last year, the idea went from a basic concept to a reality. Although many people may not have noticed, Tara’s team actually sampled their different color contenders in assorted parts of the school last Winter/Spring. The painting was finally done over the summer, ending an approximately 6-month process. It isn’t always easy to accept change, especially if one has gone to City and Country for a long time, but it should be a comfort to all skeptical students that a lot of thought was put into this decision. “I hope that people can sometimes understand why changes are made and that I hope that people know a lot of thought was put into [the decision],” Tara said when asked what she wanted to tell students who had noticed the change. She added, “the Aesthetics Committee appreciates everyone’s open-mindedness for change.” Still, when 24 students were asked if they liked the colors, a whopping 61.5% said they didn’t (the second largest group was “indifferent,” at 30.8%). Nevertheless, the new color should last the test of time, and like all new things, it will become a part of City and Country’s ever-changing identity.

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