“Drip drop, drip drop.” These are the annoying sounds EHHS students and science teacher, Gayle Tracey, hears whenever the weather calls for rain.
For almost three years, room S303, Mrs. Tracey’s room, has had ceiling leaks that affect everyone within the class, and it is getting worse as the years progress. The leakage was said to start randomly one day when a student noticed water droplets falling beside his desk during Mrs. Tracey’s second year working at EHHS in 2016. According to Mrs. Tracey, the leaking has, “gotten worse starting from the skylight to pretty much across the room scattered,” posing threats to the students safety. She mentioned many dangers the leaks create for the students, including slipping on puddles, and even parts of the ceiling falling occasionally: “Students are disturbed when it’s leaking. They get worried about the ceiling falling; sometimes the ceiling does fall but it hasn't hit anybody yet.” To avoid accidents, students and Mrs. Tracey place garbage pails underneath and move desks away from the leakage points.
Many students have reported feeling unsafe in the classroom, especially those that sit beneath the leakage points. Senior, Mikayla Raffone stated, “I sit right below [the leak] and I don’t want it to get on my stuff. I can slip or the piece of ceiling can fall on my head.” Throughout the 45 minute period, students end up getting wet. Senior Ali Szewc talks of an instance where she almost fell: “I was walking back to my seat and didn’t look down and if it wasn’t for me holding onto the desk for dear life I would have fallen and broken my head.” The leakage causes many safety hazards for students leaving them wondering, when is this problem going to get fixed?
The problem is scheduled to be fixed during spring break when there are no students in the building and the weather will be clear enough to get up to the roof. According to head of maintenance, Lance Horton, “The skylight seal failed because it is a 22 year old seal, so when it gets old, it dries and it cracks letting the water seep in.” This is a problem that cannot be fixed immediately since it takes time and calls for no students to be around in order to be fixed safely. Mr. Horton says to repair the skylight, they would have to remove it and install a new one which would take approximately three to four days.
The school has hired a contractor and picked the days to fix the leakage during the break. Until then, the leakage will be handled in the safest and best way as possible.