By Zoe Hyland
Every year during the midst of the rainy season, Novato High School runs into major flooding problems. This problem can be attributed to the lack of storm drains across campus. Two years ago, school was cancelled due to severe flooding on campus and the threat of an incoming storm.
Back then in 2014, students began to panic, wondering how they would complete their studying without the assistance of their teachers. The following Monday marked the beginning of finals, and for the rest of the weekend students stressed about preparation for their big tests.
Many students are fearful of a recurrence of this event. One of those students in particular is Senior Kayla Kuper. Kuper ran into some problems regarding flooding last winter.
“Last year when I was on crutches after getting knee surgery, I had to go home early one day because there was so much water collecting in the hallway that my crutches kept slipping,” Kuper said. “I wasn’t injured but it was just scary because I could have fallen.”
However, junior Daelin Waschke had a different view of the flooding.
“I was actually happy when it flooded a couple years back, because we got a few extra days off and it was nice,” Waschke said. “Flooding is a big problem in some areas though, the hallways and quad areas turn into lakes.”
Monique Bethel, the Novato High School campus supervisor, believes flooding won’t be as big of a problem this year.
“I think it will be less of a problem this year because the drains have been cleared,” Bethel said. “The school was built in 1958, and we need to update the drainage system. We do have a bond measure that will hopefully get passed soon, and allow us to do some upgrading.”
This $222 million dollar bond measure is referred to as Measure G, and would allow for upgrades like new safety features and classroom improvements throughout Novato schools.
According to several students, it seems that the majority of the flooding occurs in the middle and sides of the hallways. However, in the area near the portables, flooding is especially worse due to the fact that there are only two small storm drains in that area.
Flooding has the capability to cause up to thousands of dollars in damage if not addressed. According to the website homewyse.com, it costs an average of $11.39 per square foot to repair water damage and problems caused by flooding. With such a big school this can add up quickly.
“The girls locker room was flooded last year, and a ton of equipment was ruined by water damage,” Bethel said.
Flooding may return this winter, and it is in our school’s best interest to look into the effectiveness of our drainage system to further prevent any issues.