The extreme Oregon winter has left the town of Gresham a mess even a week after it first hit. It is no surprise the amount of damage that freezing rain, ice and multiple inches of snow did to the already dismal school building of Gresham High.
Many staff and students returned to school on Wednesday only to find water leaking down from ceilings above and cold class rooms. Students will notice Mrs. Christman’s biology and zoology class in room 142 missing tiles from the ceiling.
“When I came back there was water dripping from the ceiling and a massive puddle forming by the sink in the back,” Christman said. “It happens every year, just something I’ve had to get used to.” she said.
Leaking of water occurred all over the building. In room 149 and 231, water poured in from the ceiling above. Choir teacher Sara Dempsey’s office had to be moved because of a leak that will not be able to be fixed until warm weather comes around. There was also a complete roof collapse in computer lab 245 but has been reconstructed by the custodial staff.
The worst damage to the building according the head custodian RJ Connell came to the roof. “Our roof expands when the cold weather moves on and is followed by warm weather, it allows the water to start flowing inside the building at an unimaginable rate.” he said.
The long process of snow melting also caused flooding problems around the school. One place that was especially affected was the entrance to the Senior Parking lot. With the sewer drains being blocked, there was an estimated foot of water between the street and the parking lot. There are still mounds of snow located all over the the campus.
Outside of school, roads across the Portland Metro area were closed for some time because of fallen debris. For two days, the Historic Columbia River Highway was shut down at Crown Point because of fallen trees.
This storm has been compared to the blizzard of 2008 when many lost power and roads were deemed impassable for days. For Freshman like Brayton Scott, this storm was one to remember.
“It was crazy to see the effect that it had on our building. Seeing the damage that was created made me appreciate the significance of having a new school in the coming years.” Scott said.
The custodial crew is still hard at work trying to patch the building up before more flooding occurs. However, the ceiling tiles are still missing and recurring problems continue to plague this historic building.