Hard to stay dry on rainy days on campus
Art by Accolade artist Erin Lee

I look at my phone anxiously.

Can they walk any faster?

In front of me, a line of students walk along the edge of a long puddle, struggling to stay away from the rain and puddles of a February morning. But to no avail, water still soaks the backpacks and jackets of those who are shoved outside the protection of the awning.

During rainy days, students should be able to find shelter under the many awnings on campus.

According to assistant principal Craig Weinreich, the walkway coverings are meant to “protect students from the elements — sun and rain — and provide some shade.”

However, the construction of the school seems to prove otherwise.

One might not notice the small “wears and tears” of the school construction during normal, sunny days. However, they become obvious during rainy weather, and the school needs to take action to cover these holes.

For example, the overhead next to the 110s wing has a small hole that leaks a steady stream of water onto the heads of unsuspecting students walking underneath.

I, myself, have been a victim of this mini waterfall while walking to my second period class.

On another rainy day in February, I was walking by the 40s wing when I noticed a large puddle in front of one of the 40s classrooms. In order to go around, I would have had to duck out of the awning and walk through the rain, which I obviously chose not to do.

Every time it rains, it is very uncomfortable to slowly shuffle along on the last six inches of the walkway behind an entire line of students, especially if I am at the risk of receiving a tardy.

Also, if I choose to walk through the water to avoid a tardy, I would be dirtying my white shoes and dry socks with rainwater. Simply because I did not want to be late, I would have to suffer through the rest of the day with damp socks and squeaky sneakers.

Although the school’s administration said it tries its best to deal with maintenance concerns as they occur, no action has been taken to specifically address the construction issues that I’ve seen during rainy weather.

No matter how little rain Southern California gets per year, school officials should not overlook these construction issues. Even though it may seem trivial, it becomes bothersome to students who have to cramp into the small dry areas to avoid getting wet. The school can cover the faulty overheads with a tarp or hire someone to fill in these holes.

Some might reason that umbrellas are a simple and effective solution to solve this problem, but they are wide and take up a lot of space. How would several students open their umbrellas at once amid a pack of students? In addition, these things do not protect against puddles.

Weinrich said decisions regarding school construction/maintenance must be approved by the district. However, nothing has been scheduled to resolve these issues, nor has administration notified the district of them.

I see it as a given that the school provide adequate forms of shelter against natural events by at least notifying district maintenance crews. I should not have to squeeze in between crowds of people or tiptoe around the campus’ many large puddles to stay dry — nor should any other student.

So please, don’t let these holes and puddles rain on my parade.


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