Olivia Byrnes and Terrence Echols
Sunday, March 6, 2016 is an infamous day in the history of Jamesville-DeWitt High School. This was the day the Red Hall water fountain malfunctioned, causing a flood that damaged the Red and Blue halls. It was so bad that the following Monday resulted in a day off for all students, though the staff had to report for a Superintendent’s Day. J-DHS will remember it as a day that caused chaos and damage to classrooms and hallways. There was significant damage to the floors of the Red Hall and the ceilings and walls of the Blue Hall. Six months later, we checked in to see how the school has recovered.
In the weeks following the flood there were many actions taken to minimize the damage. During this time, classrooms had temporary dehumidifiers installed as well as fans and other systems to help dry the rooms. The photo room and media room were the most damaged and the teachers had to move their classes until they were dried out.
Photography teacher Lisa Troubetaris said that the water had seeped into her room from the ceiling and onto computers, student’s work, and into the dark room where photos are edited. “I had to move classes for four-six weeks,” said Ms. Troubetaris, who added that it was hard for her students to edit pictures without the technology they had had in the photo room. Insurance covered all the damages and the computers were replaced, but unfortunately the students’ work could not be replaced. English teacher Terri Eaton was also affected by the flood. “Water puddled in my room and ruined my gray leather chair,” she said. Mrs. Eaton also added that her floor as well as the baseboards were damaged. “I am still left without the baseboards that run along the back of my room.” Mrs. Eaton is thankful that her chair was replaced by a donation and only the floors were badly damaged.
However, mathematics teacher Dennis Schahczenski’s room was not severely damaged, even though his room is right across the hall from the photography room. “Thankfully it wasn't bad, the baseboard and sheetrock had some damage, but everything else was pretty much intact,” said Mr. Schahczenski. Both rooms are now fully functional.
News of the flood broke that Sunday night after a picture on social media surfaced of the damaged hallways. Many students took to social media and other outlets to let each other know about the cancellation. “My friends put the pictures in our group message, and we were excited to have a day off,” said senior Nikki O’Hara. Junior Nico Modesti was informed of the flood by a tweet from senior Hal Schulman. “It was great (to have a day off). My friends and I went to the turf to play lacrosse,” said Modesti.
However, some students were upset about the flood, “It was my favorite water fountain, I went there everyday,” said junior Jake Wright. “It was hard to find new fountains since (the Red Hall fountain) was on my way to class.”
Overall, the school seems to have recovered. “We’re very pleased with what everyone did,” said Principal Paul Gasparini. He also added that predicting another flood would be very difficult because there are no significant signs of damage before a pipe may burst. For most of the classrooms affected, “it could have been worse,” said Mrs. Eaton.