Storms cause districtwide damage

Baseball field fence knocked down by strong winter storms


Daksha Chandragiri

The baseball fence was damaged during winter storms.

Jacqueline Guerrero, Staff Writer

Torrential rain battered the San Ramon Valley Unified School District over winter break as several atmospheric rivers flowed through California, causing flooding and water damage at Cal High and schools throughout the district.
Stormy winds knocked down Cal’s baseball field fence in early January, while rainwater seeped into the men’s and women’s team rooms. Many first floor classrooms also experienced minor water damage.
Neil Armstrong Elementary and John Baldwin Elementary experienced minor flooding in their parking lots due to the backing up of drains. The district had to send people to clean out the drains, said Abdul Mixon, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s Director of Grounds and Maintenance.
“We had to dispatch a lot of personnel to work after hours or overtime,” Mixon said. “We had well over 100 hours [of labor].”
In order to prevent damage in the future, Mixon’s department will be implementing a quarterly drain cleaning preventative.
“We’ll be going out every three months and inspecting floor drains and exterior drains and we will report what we’re finding,” Mixon said.
Meanwhile, Cal’s baseball field fence remains knocked over. The fence marks the edge of the outfield and plays a role in determining home runs.
“We were lucky that a lot of [the damage occurred] over break,” Cal High athletic director Chad Ross said.
According to Ross, the district is sending someone out to look at resolving the fence issue, but Cal custodians have been helpful in the meantime.

Custodians have been vital in repairing damage caused by rainwater, especially in the men’s and women’s team rooms. The rooms sustained minor flooding that the custodians were able to rectify.
“Our custodians are so amazing, they went in and fixed [the team rooms] up,” Ross said.
Many teachers, especially those on the first floor of the main building, had leaks in their classrooms. These classrooms have had chronic water damage issues for years, and the torrential rain only exacerbated the problem.

Cal history teacher Ryan Cook’s first floor classroom has a problem with water seeping in through one of the walls each year. Attempts are made each year to fix the problem, but water still gets through.
“[Water damage] has been happening every year and this is my 7th year at the school,” Cook said. “The main thing I think is more concerning is the possibility of there being some sort of potential health risk like mold.”
In past years Cal administration has carried out inspections for mold in classrooms like Cook’s without finding anything. Administration also took preventative measures against the flooding in advance.
“Maintenance has taken steps to prevent [flooding] such as sandbags,” Cal assistant principal Jeff Osborn said.
Leaking from the roofs of the main building stairwells was resolved by sealing the leaks with caulking.
Thanks to quick action taken by Cal custodians and the district maintenance department, water damage was kept to a minimum.