Water damage impacts classrooms after Thanksgiving break

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Ava Seccuro co-editor-in-chief

Minor water damage occurred over the Thanksgiving break in two classrooms near the second floor patio, but are now enduring a “fairly involved repair,” Director of Maintenance and Operations Ken Haas said.

On Dec. 2, students in the period three Advanced Journalism class walked into room 253 to see two ceiling tiles removed in the back right corner of the computer lab, two buckets–one filled with water, the other filled with wall plaster sludge, desks moved out of place and two laptops covered in wall soot. 

There is no structural danger or biological hazard imposed to either to room 253 nor room 273, whose leak was caused by a broken pipe from the room above.

The room 253 leak wasn’t a leak in the conventional sense. It was caused by water leakage from an outside window or vent from the rain over the weekend. The water got into the stucco and leaked out from inside of the walls down to the floor. Haas suspects something like this has happened in this room in the past, he said.

The computers were dysfunctional, but not due to water damage, Haas said. There is believed to be no damage to the computers in the lab because the leak did not secrete overhead water, the leakage exited the walls from the floor.

“When I first saw what had happened in the room I was honestly a little shocked. Seeing the state of the lab was a little upsetting,” Advanced Journalism student junior Alya Mehrtash said. “Some old yearbooks were covered in disgusting wet drywall, wires had been cut and dust and debris had hit the expensive computers too, which made me really nervous.”

Haas and the maintenance team were alerted over the weekend about the two leaks and were at the site immediately to document the damage and find the source of the leaks, Vice Principal Drew Stewart said; however, he was first made aware of the situation on the morning of Dec. 2 by English teacher and interim Highlights adviser Barbara Nealis.

Despite the fact that the leak has stopped, the possible onset of rain on Dec. 4, that could possibly reverse the drying and draining process on the leaks has already done, will effectively serve as a test to see how well the ceiling was restabilized after the initial leak, Haas said, and maintenance may have to go back to repair the leak again, next time with a lift in order to access the space and fix the leak indefinitely. 

Mehrtash was “frustrated” with the state of the computers in the lab even before the leak, so given these circumstances, she views this “incident” as a possible impediment on class productivity. However, since the class is small, they can fit into the other computer lab in order to resume their duties.

“Even though I think it might be a temporary nuisance to work in the small lab, I don’t think it’s something we can’t work past,” she said.

 

Click on the video below to view pictures of the water damage in room 253.

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