Segway into the new year

As of the start of the school year RB security has been using a Segway to patrol the halls, and make sure kids get to class on time.

Many students have noticed that Segways have been roaming the halls of RB, and the student population has had mixed opinions on them.

“They’re dangerous and irresponsible,” said senior Hugh Berglin. In contrast side senior Sean McGonagill said, “They’re a awesome and a great addition to RB.”

For the first three weeks of school, “Segway of Chicago” loaned one Segway to RB. The loan comes from Jim Renyolds father of  RB graduate Preston Reynolds. The Segway was on loan until September 25 when it then had to be returned, and now the decision about purchasing is up to the school board.

Much of their decision well rely on Assistant Principal John Passarella, and whether or not he believes Segways are the answer to the problem that RB now faces.

“We have gained 80,000 square footage in the building, but we have gained no extra security guards,” said Passarella “so to be fiscally responsible, with our budget the way it is, I want to be creative, and figure out if we can somehow supervise the building without adding a person.”

This brings up the issue of how much benefit a Segway actually bring with its five thousand dollar price tag.

“I can circulate around the building and within minutes be back in my office. Security members could do the same. They can circulate the floor and wrap around numerous times, which you just couldn’t do before with foot traffic,” said Passarella when asked about the benefits. “It’s more efficient, and beside that you are eight inches taller a the crowd, the average person, and you can watch for problems. For example if you see kids hanging in a area and it seems it may be a problem, you can see that. It’s a great advantage.”

Community reaction was mixed when news of the Segway trial reached the public.  After a Riverside Landmark article detailed the Segway trial, several commenters mistakenly thought the school had already purchased the scooter.  Given RB’s difficult budgetary situation, taxpayer reaction was not strong.

Currently RB’s halls are Segway free while RB waits for the Board to make the its decision.