Pained by the Paint


Throughout the school, it is visible that in many places the paint on both the exterior and interior of the walls are in less-than-perfect condition. The last time the interior of the school was painted was in its first year as West Shore, in 1998. Since then, the interiors of many classrooms are chipping and the paint looks faded from not being painted for almost two decades.

“At our AP facilities meeting, the district at this time is not supporting cosmetic painting,” assistant principal of facilities Catherine Halbeur said. “They are doing painting for issues. They are going around and they do an assessment and things are rated one, two, or three and according to the issue that’s when they go around and paint.”

One such issue that the district found suitable for repair was the condition of the paint of language arts teacher Carrie Glass’ room.

“The part that was actual brick was peeling,” Glass said. “I wanted to come in and paint it myself over the summer, but because there’s rules with the district, I wasn’t allowed to do that, so I couldn’t pick my color. Once [the paint] peeled a lot they decided that they were going to paint it.”

Other classrooms have been experiencing the same issue of peeling paint, but unlike Glass’ room, have not been slated for repaint. Instead of waiting around, some teachers, such as graphic design teacher Jim Finch, decided they would repaint on their own. The journalism department decided that it would paint the front wall of its main classroom because of how much the paint was peeling. The “Roar” also conducted its own test for lead in the journalism room, using an EPA recognized lead test kit purchased from Ace Hardware. because the paint used in the classroom is as old as the school, but found no traces of the harmful substance.

“Before we painted the wall it was pretty gross,” senior Alyssa Feliciano said. “Paint was constantly chipping off of it and it wasn’t even white yet, it was more of a gray color. It drove [teacher Mark] Schledorn insane, which is the main reason why we painted it.”

Some parts of the school, such as the locker rooms and the interior of the cafeteria are slated to be repaired this summer, but in order for other parts of the school to get repainted, other issues must first be fixed.

“I do know one of the areas of concern is in the stairway of building four,” Halbeur said. “But first they have to address the water intrusion because what’s causing the paint to chip or peel is the water that’s coming down from the break room leaving the brick moist and that’s what’s taking the paint off. They have to address the water problem first, which is in a different department, and after that the painting.”

However, some progress is taking place to revamp the paint job in certain parts of school, such as the auditorium. On Feb. 2., as part of annual facility needs assessment, the project to repaint building 16 started and was completed on Feb. 20. This created some vexation for students parking in the auditorium parking lot because several spots were blocked off.

“Not being able to park in my spot that I paid for was rather irritating,” senior Nic Stelter said. “The auditorium did really need a paint job because it was starting to look black and blue rather than our school colors. It does make the school look a lot nicer, and maybe now people will stop mistaking it for the gym.”

By Alexa Carlos Tamez