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Bathroom Breaks

Jared Lin, Maria McAlister-Young, Alyssa Shirman, Hezekiah Smithstein | September 7, 2018


Since school has started, there have been two major bathroom issues in just as many weeks. Most recently, a faucet in the east upstairs boys bathroom was rotated away from the sink, consequently flooding the bathroom. After a junior boy emailed Henry Lonneman, Student Culture Coordinator, about the incident, Lonneman was able to go in with a mop and clean up the mess.

VIDEO: Henry Lonneman describes faucet incident and goes over community values

Executive Director Dr. Montgomery expressed disappointment over the event. “It is embarrassing to have to call up Oracle and explain to them that the faucets need to be fixed so they don’t turn around, so that students can’t do things like this. It’s sad because if we use 5000 dollars on fixing the bathroom, that is 5000 dollars that could go towards other things, like clubs or camping trips,” Montgomery explained. He added that although Oracle is leasing the building to us for only $1, if there are damages that the school is responsible for, “we pay for all of the damage we do.”

Taking the opportunity to remind students of the community agreements, Lonneman released a video in @d.tech this morning talking about the incident. The video highlighted a few points, notably that the incident was “disrespecting the space [and] creating an unsafe space.” He emphasized two of the PRISE agreements, respect and safety, commenting about how the flood is a safety risk for students, and that there is a level of disrespect towards him and the rest of the school, as they were the ones that had to clean it up.

This was not the first bathroom issue that occurred; another bathroom related incident took place earlier last week in first floor boys’ bathroom next to the DRG. This one, although not student caused, required extensive maintenance. Students may have noticed the bathroom door adorned with an “out-of-order” sign, in addition to one handwritten and taped on the sink, due to the breakage of a pipe. Junior Ethan Shedd was the first to discover this leakage Wednesday August 29th, according to executive director Ken Montgomery. “Ethan Shedd found [the leak],” which had scattered water all over the bathroom floor. Senior Ethan Yu also witnessed someone using the broken sink. Yu recounted: “When someone tried to use the sink, water came out the broken pipe instead of the faucet and sprayed all over the floor.”

After hearing about leak occuring the first week of school, Montgomery called Director of Business Operations and Facilities, Hanan Holloway, who contacted Oracle Facilities. Moments later, engineers appeared on the scene to attend to the issue. “We’re lucky because the people we rent from are on our campus; they were here in five minutes,” Holloway said. Engineers quickly shut off the building’s water supply and sealed the broken pipe. Afterwards, Oracle Facilities called in janitors to take care of the spill.

Oracle Facilities Manager Kelsey Cariffe said that the “break was likely caused by a fitting underneath the sink not being tightened correctly during install.” Facility engineers are investigating the repair this weekend, which could be “as simple as a hose or pipe replacement,” or a replacement of the entire assembly, which would take longer. Cariffe also reports that a similar situation has occurred before on campus, due to “pipes not being screwed tightly enough.”

Despite a number of problems with the bathrooms starting off the school year, Lonneman says that the focus will remain forward. Lonneman wants d.tech students to take initiative and help create a safe space, as it is where students spend most of their time during the day. “It’s on you…” he said. “This is your school… So take that responsibility and with that will come more freedom. And make it your school. Make it safe. Respect the space and keep it moving.”

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