February 26, 2013

The coming last year

Princeton High School's current building has to survive one more year. In the fall of 2014, we are scheduled to move across the street into the new Princeton High School/Middle School complex, a single building with common spaces (cafeteria, main gym, auditorium) connecting the two school wings.

Since the announcement of the new school and the eventual destruction of the old building, maintenance has been a bit less urgent, and the cracks have begun to show around school. In general, the issues have been survivable and workable. Maybe half the hallway clocks are working, the drips in the 'covered' walkway through the courtyard have been less likely to be repaired,

In some other ways, though, the building is aging very, very quickly. Twice this year we have had power outages - once in only the music wing and cafeteria, once throughout the whole school. This past Friday we missed a day of school because the fire alarm control panel stopped working - leading a repairman to open his conversation with a principal by saying, "Wow, I haven't seen one like this in fifteen years."

Bit by bit the old girl is falling apart, and I am at least looking forward to the coming year when things really go to pieces.

One day Don Freeman walks into Mathews Auditorium to find all the seats mysteriously gone, the floor replaced with a lush carpet of moss.

We close the second floor to any staff or students save for fifteen-year-olds as the creatures there seem to be angered by anyone of a different age.

Two lights in the community room consistently flash Morse code messages over and over - "He is coming...He is coming...He is coming..."

Triceratops are found in the technology wing when Mr Simpson unlocks the doors in the morning. They seem to be adapting to CAD use but are still struggling with fine motor skills on the mouse.

The electrical outlets in the small gym and rooms next door are all flipped upside down overnight.

All windows on the third floor look out not on Chester and Sharon Roads but rather on mid-twentieth century London during the Blitz.

The hallways are littered with students turned to stone whenever they speak aloud any of a half dozen swear words viewed offensive by the Native American spirits.

Three rooms in the 600 wing are filled three inches deep with water. Even when the doors are opened, the water stays. Shop vacs running for hours on end can't seem to make any dent in the depth of water. Shark fins are seen cutting through the surface of the water in spite of the fact that no shark could survive in water that shallow or green.

No sound can be made in room 446B.


At least there would be good stories to tell from the year.

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