Broken Sink: Unreported and Unsanitary

The sensors to the sink in the girl’s locker room have been broken since the summer going into this school year (2018-19). Frustrated that no water comes out of the sink, many female students have been wondering when they will be able to wash their hands again.

The Problem with the Sinks

According to Lance Horton, manager of the EHHS management company, the maintenance department became aware of the problem two or three weeks ago and has been working hard to get them fixed ever since. Because the school is 21 years old this year, the sink unit we have is 21-year-old technology, so the parts for it are no longer made: “They do not make the sensor for the sink we have anymore. Obsolescence is the word for it. So it is nearly impossible to get the parts for the unit that’s here. We have to track them down,” said Horton.

Fortunately, Horton has managed to track down an aftermarket part, a replacement part that is made by a company other than the original manufacturer. He shares, “They are $300 per sensor and there are four sensors in the unit, so that is $1200 just to fix that. We ordered the part, but it takes a while since there is only one manufacturer in the country that makes it.” For a temporary fix, so that all of the sensors in the locker room are not broken, maintenance took a sensor from another unit and put it in until they get the new sensors. Horton stressed that if it was a standard unit, they could just go buy the parts at the supply store.It would have been fixed as soon as it was brought to their attention. He also adds, “We found the problem, we addressed the problem, now we are waiting for the parts to fix the problem.”

However one question remains, if the sink has been broken since the summer, why has it taken so long for maintenance to become aware of the problem and work to fix it?

How Maintenance Works

Horton’s company is new to the school this year and they started by implementing a program called Schooldude. According to Principal Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo, “We use a maintenance system here called Schooldude, which is a software used all around the state and country. So I would log in or whoever would log in and you report the issue as either a maintenance repair or a calendar request because we even use it for scheduling in the building.” Those who have access to SchoolDude are the principal, the vice principal, all administration, and secretaries, so people relay messages to them, and they put in the order. In addition, teachers can request access to the program.

Prior to being interviewed, DeNuzzo was unaware that the sink was even broken. He shares that maintenance issues do not necessarily have to be brought to him directly, but he likes to know everything that is going on. In this case, it was Athletic Director Anthony Verderame who put the work order in Schooldude. DeNuzzo does not want the issue to seem as though it is being ignored. Horton stated that in the three months his company has been working at EHHS, there have been 430 work orders and they are prioritizing the best they could. After making sure maintenance was aware and working on the broken sink, DeNuzzo plans to have signs put up and laminated that say out of order and awaiting parts to be repaired so students know the issue is being fixed.

However the same question still remains, why has it taken so long for maintenance to become aware of the problem?

Who Can Report Problems to Maintenance

All students interviewed seemed to be aware of the problem and want it fixed. Senior Olivia DelBasso referred to the sink being broken as “annoying,” and senior Alicia Szewc shared that she was frustrated because, “One day I put soap on my hands and then the water did not turn on.” Both said that maintenance should fix the problem, but neither officially reported it to the school administration. But who could blame them? Students are not aware that they can voice the things they want to see changed in order to improve the school image.

DeNuzzo shared that anyone can bring awareness to maintenance problems around the school by telling a teacher who can relay the message to himself or telling him directly. He was glad that the broken sink in the locker room was brought to his attention so that he can be sure to keep tabs on it getting fixed. All students should feel encouraged to voice out improvements that need to be made to the school rather than dealing with nuisance, especially when it is a problem such as the broken sink in the girls locker room, since no staff would be using the sink to notice the problem themselves.