Water Fountain Flood

by August Kissel and Julia Skeval
Co-Editors in Chief

On Sunday, March 6, two students discovered a layer of water in the English side of the Red Hall. After a flurry of rumors and excitement on social media, Assistant Principal Dave Nylen and counselor Clete Gulaterri were the first to arrive at the school to discover the problem and report that a pipe in the water fountain by the bathrooms had burst. “Obviously there was a lot of water everywhere and that’s what we’ve been cleaning up ever since,” said Mr. Nylen.


Students were told not to come into school on Monday while the faculty reported to help move damaged items out of classrooms. The floors of the Red Hall and the ceilings of the Blue Hall took the biggest hit. Dehumidifiers are currently installed in classrooms and hallways to remove the excess moisture in the air.


Principal Paul Gasparini said he was notified early Sunday evening, and by 7:15 p.m., a property restoration crew, Property Restoration Inc., was on site and the damage was being assessed. There were three stages to the clean-up process: first, the professionals had to determine what needed to be done. Next, they began to start clearing the water and getting everything dry again. Third was the over-all clean-up, which included installing dehumidifiers and clearing affected rooms. “Really it took all day on Monday to clean up the dropped ceilings, the debris in classrooms, the mess that was all around,” said Mr. Gasparini.


The rooms most affected by the water were those in the newer part of the Blue Hall wing, just underneath where the faulty water fountain was located. Especially hard hit were the Girls Main Gym Locker Room, where the ceilings are saturated and still drying even days after the flood, and in the Photography room. The latter received the brunt of the damage and as a result, no classes can be taught in there as the area is still being dried out and monitored to make sure no mold or mildew begins to grow. “Some of the computers got wet and a pile of Scholastic artwork was ruined,” said Photography teacher Lisa Troubetaris. Her main concern was for her students’ work that was on the computers because not all had backed up the projects they were working on. Ms. Troubetaris doesn’t know when she’ll be allowed back in her classroom, “it could be days, a little longer. It all depends on what the (restoration company) decides,” she said.

Mr. Nylen and Mr. Gasparini are waiting on confirmation as to how long repairs will take to get everything back to the way it was. Preliminary estimates for repairing the damage put the cost at more than $100,000 as reported by Syracuse.com. Mr. Gasparini just asks all students and faculty to be patient, “it’s not going to look good for a while but hopefully everything will be prepared and ready to go fully by the beginning of next year.”