• Courtney Fortunato

Splish Splash I Was Takin' a Class

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s only a ceiling tile falling from above. Well, this has been true for two CHS teachers this school year.


Approximately a month or two ago, several ceiling tiles in both Coach Peters’ and Mr. Cross’ room collapsed and fell during class. Now, water drips from the ceiling, along the walls, and onto the floor. Both teachers now have several recycling bins, trashcans, and paint buckets to collect water.

In Mr. Cross’ classroom, especially, small puddles of the water have formed on the tile floor near his desk. At least a

few inches of water can be seen in the bottom of these bins as clearly visible, liquid droplets fall at a steady rhythm.


Due to the frequent rainfall Columbus has experienced recently, these bins have been especially full of water in the past week.


When asked whether the lack of ceiling tiles in Peters’ room has been a distraction to students, AP Psychology student, Kathryn Livingston, replied, “Sometimes we have to clean up desks or we talk about it before class, but most of the time, we just continue as normal.”


Because the ceiling tiles have been missing for a few weeks now in Coach Peters’ room, Livingston explains that students see it as, “something that has become usual to us.”


Another AP Psychology student, Isabel Kersey, witnessed the ceiling tile fall some time a few months ago. She described the event saying, “[the hole in the ceiling] has been there a really long time. It was kind of a gradual thing. At first it was just a brown, leaky spot that kept getting larger and one day in class I guess it got too heavy and a part of it fell."


Like Livingston, Kersey has found that students have become accustomed to the gaping hole in the ceiling, and they mostly go about business as usual. Kersey remarked that this issue was only a distraction in the beginning when pieces of tiles would randomly fall from the ceiling.


“However, they've removed all the affected tiles and I think the class as a whole has gotten used to the occasional dripping sound. The only thing distracting now is sometimes you'll hear workers doing some form of work right above it to fix. it Even though we haven't seen any sort of difference or impact to the hole whatsoever. Sometimes we would have to sit in the cafeteria or gym because of them fixing it as well, and that definitely impacted the quality of learning.”

Essentially, progress is currently being made to fix both holes in the ceiling, but results have yet to be seen. Livingston

adds that despite the ceiling issues, “ I think that in general, it's not bad,” in regards to Columbus High’s condition.


Coach Peters has kept a positive outlook on the situation referring to the removed tiles as the "skylight" to his students.


When asked to describe how the ceiling looks Peters replied,"It does give off the industrial look with exposed wiring and conduit. The containers used to catch the falling water have become more of a water feature.  The addition of a few koi fish will finish the theme."


Columbus High School's current building is almost a hundred years old. Because of its age, it's not surprising that issues like this occur occasionally. Many renovations have taken place recently such as the construction of the new wrestling building, the baseball field, and the auditorium. However, it seems the building still bears a few wrinkles despite the investments that have been made.


Nonetheless, even without any great educational distractions associated with the holes in the ceiling, one can’t help but wonder if indoor mold has now been given the opportunity to enroll in CHS as well. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow on wet surfaces, and mold often grows on “damp, dark hidden spaces like areas above ceiling tiles.”


Commonly, the causes of these dark, brown spots on ceiling tiles are roof leakages, problems with the HVAC system, or simply moisture and condensation caused by humidity. In our particular situation, the water leakages are most likely due to problems with the building's aging roof.


Fortunately, since roof repairs are reportedly being made, one can assume that the leakage problems should soon be drying up. Coach Peters is assured in the fact that, "It has been drip free for a couple days. Even with the torrential rains of late."


Soon we can all go back to enjoying the peaceful sound of rainfall...completely dry, or as Coach Peters would say, "We may be losing the skylight and water feature soon!"


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