Oakdale’s Trade of Dirt for Drywall


by Layla Basile

As one may consider going green, Oakdale has decided to go brown: due to all of the destruction of land and construction of man-made buildings surrounding Oakdale. This plan initiates the first day of summer break.  

The future at Oakdale beholds some environmental changes. The land around all sides of the Oakdale building will be industrialized in some way. There will be an expansion from Eaglehead Drive to Yeagertown Road; two traffic lights and a fence will be implemented. A strip mall – an array of businesses and restaurants, small family owned – will also be replacing pure land. Also, the Oakdale Village (in between Oakdale High and Oakdale Middle) will be built which includes a few single family homes, with the majority townhouses, along with a retirement community – ages 55 and older.

Continually, there are some positive perspectives about Oakdale’s new environment. As a result of the construction, there will be an increase in diversity among residents, which will change Oakdale’s demographics. An uplifting side to the new development is that the construction will allow for extended communication between Oakdale Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

Furthermore, Principal Jeffrey Marker believes that “80% of our school’s students will be walkers,” as a result of the construction.

This would be a relief to many students who wait in the ongoing traffic line to get into the school in the morning.

However, the overwhelming negative aspects to this new construction outweigh the sum of the benefits to this situation. Negative outlooks of this new construction are comprised of the dreaded loss of land and an altered location for where agricultural day and fire drill locations will be held at Oakdale High School.

A supporter of this point of view is Senior Julia Delia, who expressed that the atmosphere of our communities around Oakdale will be disrupted by this construction: “[It creates] a more stressful energy; a lot of destruction of what we need, and killing the abundant healthy nature of the area.”

Another idea given by Senior Lauren Meyers is that even though the new project “Will create jobs . . . we are so close to Frederick that it feels like we don’t need it.”

There already exists a plentiful supply of businesses in downtown Frederick to employ many people.

Along with Oakdale’s Color Guard practice area being taken away by concrete, there is a “highly decreased opportunity for science classes to observe nature first hand,” Delia added.

In the long run, new businesses directly next to Oakdale may “impede with the school’s learning . . . and might be used as an excuse to leave the school,” at unauthorized times during the school day based on a desire to buy food from exciting restaurants nearby, Meyers proclaimed.

In reality, “The reason why a lot of people moved to this area was for the nature,”  Delia explained.

Although the increase in population may pose as a hassle to many, one may be outraged when understanding that this situation stems farther than traffic annoyances. The traffic circle encompassing the entrance to OHS is perceived as more dangerous than ever before.

Regarding this thought, Senior Madison Lawson shared a statistic she recently learned, which is that “the top two worst drivers in traffic circles are teenagers and the elderly.” With a high school and retirement community posing the main attraction to this traffic circle, one can only imagine the whirl spin of driving risks awaiting.

The disappointing truth of the matter resonates in us all. So, the next time you are driving down to the back entrance of Oakdale in the morning and look slightly to the right to view the blissful sunrise across the captivating field, take a moment to soak in the peaceful presence of nature’s pure beauty for one of the last times you will see it