On Tuesday, October 29, a black liquid started raining down from a pipe near the ceiling of FLC’s second floor in stairwell B. Shortly after, students reported a strong smell of oil following the sudden shower.
History teacher Doree Kendricks, whose classroom is located next to the site of the leak, rushed to the office to report the incident. Student Paladin Jenkins (‘21) witnessed the beginning of the mess.
“I was walking to class and all of a sudden, just black sludge started falling from the ceiling,” she said.
Some students were directly under the leak as it began to drip down, while others walked into it before realizing what was happening. An announcement declared stairwell B off limits until after clean up.
The overflow was likely caused by a build-up of clay, paint, and other materials from the art rooms’ sinks on the third floor.
“There is a thing called a clay trap on the bottom of each sink, which is supposed to be cleaned out every couple of months I think,” says Art teacher Hee Young Kim, “but they don’t really get cleaned out very often.”
Kim’s colleague, Art teacher Christina Xiao Whitt, has known about the sink issues and has been waiting for the district to send plumbers for a while.
“I requested “Can you clean the sink trap?” a million times. They never did,” she said. “Both of ours got backed up and it backed up into the pipes and then that’s why there was a flood down there.”
After school was dismissed, FLC janitors spent the afternoon cleaning up. The stairwell is now open and operational.
“But if they fixed it in the beginning,” says Whitt, “they wouldn’t have had that problem.”