In Style with Tile


Rissy Dalton

Dr. James’ room is ready for the rain on October 14 after the tiling was placed.

Imagine trying to study for that big English exam that will make or break your grade, when all of a sudden, water starts seeping into the classroom and lapping at your sneakers (or Sperry’s).  Suddenly you’re sitting in a room with a wet carpet that requires hours to dry by way of a fan.  Unfortunately, such stories may not be too far fetched in the Middle School as evidenced by the flooding that postponed the new-student orientation at the beginning of this school year. The water in the quad was three to five inches high that evening and Mr. Hagy, with his pants pulled up to his knees, evacuated all of the teachers from out of their classrooms while the rain continued to pummel the quad.

The carpet in Ms. Mack's room was removed and awaits tiling on October 10.
Rissy Dalton
The carpet in Ms. Mack’s room was removed and awaits tiling on October 10.

Such flooding tends to happen once or twice a year whenever there is a heavy rain and it usually affects the quad classrooms at the bottom of the hill that lead to the football field.  When that happens, it unquestionably affects the teachers’ attempts to educate their students and it’s become a major nuisance.

To help alleviate the carpet damage and possible mold that could result from the flooding, The Benjamin School maintenance staff, led by the very capable Mr. Paul Chaple, replaced all of the carpets in the quad classrooms with waterproof laminate tile.  It is much easier now to transport the water out of the classrooms, and the floors do not stay wet for a substantial amount of time.  “I like the tiles much better than the rugs because they are much easier to clean,” noted Ms. Mack, the eighth grade history teacher whose carpet was recently replaced.  Ms. Mack was working hard in her classroom on the day of the flood the week before school started.  “There were three inches of water in the rooms.  But I didn’t notice it because I was working. Thankfully an expert cleaning crew came in and cleaned it all up.”

However, although the tiles will make the rooms a bit easier to clean after a rainstorm, it won’t prevent the water from seeping in. There needs to be some construction around the quad for that to happen. The Maintenance Department has already helped the garden in the sixth-grade area by building a stone wall, about two-and-a-half feet tall. This helps the garden with rain and keeps it elevated in case of another flood. Mr. Hagy said some construction similar to that wall could possibly help the quad, but there are no immediate plans as of right now. More weather radios have been purchased to warn staff of incoming storms and the facilities staff has agreed to stay on campus until all sandbags have been placed in the quad if rain is approaching. So while the issue has not been solved, it’s at least been improved.  Now, if you see water seeping into your classroom under the door during a rainstorm, it will be out before you can say “flood”!