All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wall of Shame

Last weekend, I went on the mechanical tour at both high schools. I saw many things that should have been attended to but did not require a referendum to do. Others were items that in other districts would have just been taken care of within their operations budget, like painting door jambs, etc.

The third category would fall into a capital improvement project during the summer, such as new chemistry cabinetry and counter tops. Nothing I saw was anything that a bit of diligence and a modest increase in budget could not remedy.

Right now I would like to focus on two problems that were just out and out neglect: a hole in the ceiling and holes in the wall. These problems challenge the Elmbrook LINK statement: “While the schools are well maintained within the scope of annual operating budgets...”

I question this statement because both would have been inexpensive and relatively easy to fix.

The first picture is of the ceiling in the girls locker room at Central’s pool. I think it has been like this since I took a mother and child swim class (my son is now 18). It is an access panel for something. The question is why was the ceiling never re-plastered around the frame? This is not a functional problem, just a cosmetic. I could even repair this one!

But these holes in the electric room are a real problem. They are the remaining sleeves from the abandoned oil tank lines which passed through the electrical room at Central. As you can see from the photo, water is seeping in through these holes and collecting on the electrical room floor.

Now most people’s first reaction is that water and electricity don’t mix. Pity the poor electrician that needs to work on or shut off any circuit breakers in there! That is a problem, but it's not the worst problem. Electricians are not to work anything "hot".

No, the real problem here is that the humidity is very high in this closed room and humidity and contacts don’t mix. High humidity causes the contacts in the circuit breakers to oxidize and corrode. This eventually will cause the breaker to fail. Considering how many breakers are in this vicinity and the expense of changing them out, you would think the district would get after this, or at the very least put in a dehumidifier.

This would be a prime example of a very inexpensive repair that the district is ignoring. It does not require a referendum to fix it, just effort.

We had a similar situation in our home. The underground oil tank lines came into our basement and water leaked in around the pipes. My husband dug down with a shovel, cleaned up the area, and used hydraulic cement to patch the holes.

Presto. No more leak.

Cost? About $10.00 in cement and a bit of sweat equity. That is all it would cost the district too. If the area above that wall is not accessible, it could be patched from the inside with the cement and epoxy.

There is no reason that the district could not fix this either. They still can and save the circuitry. Any responsible property owner would do so.

So why have they been neglected? Seems to me the district has a strange mix of Slum Lord mentality: do as little as possible, combined with a welfare recipient attitude: why take care of it; the taxpayers will just buy me a new one.

I’m hard pressed to come up with any other explanation for neglecting these simple repairs.


LINKS:Brookfield7 postings, Betterbrookfield, Brookfieldnow, Practically Speaking,


Post a Comment

<< Home