Everybody is familiar with the moment of ear-splitting chaos that occurs at the fire alarm’s first burst of cacophony. Hands are clasped over ears, pencils are dropped, and shouts of surprise are uttered before students, giving the evil eye to the alarm, grab their belongings and head to the baseball field. Then, some glad to have a brief emergence from the dreary classroom and others disgruntled by the miserable state of their eardrums, they wait for the obtrusive vigilante to be subdued.
It was fifth period on Thursday, December 19th, that was so rudely interrupted by the blaring of this dreadful, yet necessary, device. As students marched out to the baseball field, it is likely most suspected that the intrusive alarm was a false alarm, as it often is, or that it heralded some petty emergency that would have no impact on the school outside those few curious minutes of waiting. However, this case was different. It just so happened that a new fish tank had been spontaneously installed where the weight room used to be, and, seeing as this school doesn’t need a fish tank and it does need a weight room, the situation seemed to call for the sacrifice of everyone’s ears.
According to Mr. Mercer, the transformation was initiated by the unusually cold weather, which had caused the pipes to freeze, resulting in one to rupture. The weight room, which began to accumulate water that morning, was nearly filled by the time the problem was addressed, and much property was damaged. Nobody was using the weight room when the flooding occurred, and teachers were notified of the problem during lunch.
It was soon drained, leaving the room a sad and soggy mess. Luckily, no fish were in the fish tank at the time it was drained. Though the weight room is adequately dry by now, it is by no means ready to host PE classes. One can still see a red-lettered “do not enter” sign taped to the door, behind which lies a depressingly dark and empty weight room. Another, more encouraging common sight is the bustling about of workers in an attempt to repair the damaged building; so do not fret, regular users of the weight room, for the school’s maintenance crew is on the job, though it still may take quite some time before the facility is functional again. Mr. Mercer says, “In speaking with our maintenance department, we have at least 3 to 4 weeks before the weight room is back up and running. Differences upon restoration are what we hope to be upgraded flooring and new platforms. We still don’t know the full picture on what needs to be restored as much of the equipment is still being assessed for damages.”
In speaking with our maintenance department, we have at least 3 to 4 weeks before the weight room is back up and running.
In the mean time, PE teachers and coaches, who are accustomed to changes in plans, are having little to no trouble carrying on with their jobs. The flooding of the weight room has proven to be an impediment, but not so much as to undermine school sports. In a few weeks, the weight room will be restored and any ruined equipment will be paid for by the school’s insurance. Though the fish tank incident was disastrous, its effects are moving steadily toward being alleviated.