The Fault in Our Pipes: Kennedy Gym Floor Destroyed by Flooding

By Desiree Leong, Clarion Staff

Warped floors are visible from the inside of the big gymnasium, which is currently off-limits to students and staff.  Photo courtesy Brandon Yung

Heavy rain from the stormy weather on the night of January 8 and the following morning rendered Kennedy’s big gym flooded and unusable.

“It was not a matter of the roof leaking. In the area in front of the gym, what we call the cafeteria quad, there are a number of drains there, and the amount of water that came that weekend was just more than the drains could handle, so

the cafeteria quad is what flooded and the water came from under the doors,” Assistant Principal Brandon Yung revealed in an interview.

“The district is assessing the damage and trying to figure out what portions of the gym need to be fixed or replaced or if the entire floor needs to be fixed or replaced.” It is the school’s hope that the gym will be fully repaired by the end of this school year.

Bleachers in the gym may need to be replaced as well.   Photo courtesy Brandon Yung

Many of Kennedy’s diverse groups depended on the big gym for their practices among other things. In addition, home games for basketball, which used the big gym, have been moved to Sam Brannan Middle School. School events normally held in the big gym were forced back to later dates as a result of the damage. The upcoming rally has been tentatively pushed towards the end of April. 

Other groups and clubs, such as drama and dance, have been rescheduled to the remaining available spaces like the auxiliary gym and dance room. As well as Kennedy’s own groups, there were some middle and K-8 schools in the community that borrowed the gym through the permit process. The

school is also reaching out to nonprofit organizations, like a basketball club, volleyball program, and two church groups that have gyms in order to secure facilities for Kennedy’s student groups. Outside organizations are subjected to finding new facilities as well.

To help prevent more water from getting in, district maintenance and school custodians placed sandbags in front of the gym doors for the time being. Additionally, the district has sent plumbers to work on the pipes while trying to identify the issue and a solution. Kennedy is currently talking with the district about improving ceilings and doorways both in front of the gym and the blacktop side of the gym.

However, the full extent of the damage and costs of the damage as well as the exact date of when everything will be repaired are still unknown.

Contractors have been coming at least two or three days a week to check the moisture levels, the different areas that have lifted off the floor, and the doors that need to be weather sealed.

Administration is waiting to get bids from contractors and will then get an estimate of the price. Since the damage is so extensive, Kennedy will not be expected to pay for everything, and the district will be taking care of the bill. The repairs have been approximated to take two months.

Despite all of the problems and difficulties the big gym is facing, the school has been looking for solutions and will continue to do so.


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