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Rain brings threat of flooding in West Wing

By Eric Carman

The basement in the West Wing, often called the foreign language building, has a high likelihood of flooding with the coming rainy season. The three classrooms in the basement of  the foreign language building have a history of drainage problems during heavy rain, and this will have a great impact on the teachers and students in those rooms.

Lisa Piazza, an English teacher in room 524, experiences the obstacle the flooding presents first hand.  “The class has to move, yes,” she explains. “It’s  unsafe. They basically just sweep out the water.”

Although there has been no instance of flooding this school year, Piazza has struggled with drainage issues in the past. The basement would overflow into the hallway “anytime we got a significant amount of rain,” she says. The teachers have often taken matters into their own hands: “We duct tape the bottom of the doors. I’ve sent emails… and I hope we see some change.”

Vice Principal Michael Lee was asked about how often they have received complaints from teachers or students. “We don’t hear many complaints,” he says. This is most likely because it hasn’t rained excessively in Alameda for quite a while, Lee explains. “We hear more so from teachers than the students.”

As far as solving this problem, Lee says that the root of the problem would not be cured “unless we were willing to make drainage construction.” The drains are not efficient enough to drain a certain amount of water without getting clogged, so “when it rains hard, it becomes tricky,” he says.

“It’s possible that it’s in the plans to do something more modern,” Lee said, adding that the school would need funds to carry that out.

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