Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Staff steps up during PAC flooding

Kiley Feller
PAC lobby where the flooding occurred

On January 13, 2024, facilities director Jack Schmidt arrived on campus to check power, water, and other facilities only to find burst pipes and frozen faucets.

He explored areas across campus, looking for any damage or any means to prevent it.

“I started going around to faucets and turning them on to a trickle so they wouldn’t freeze, I then found women’s restroom faucets in the cronin press box already frozen,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Snow was actually blowing under the doors and creating little snow drifts.”

From there he was able to shut off the water to the Cronin press box and prevent any further leaks. Mr. Schmidt and other members from the maintenance team returned home Saturday night after a full day of weather proofing campus.

However, upon return to campus the next day, the bulk of the damage was revealed.

“Sunday evening our fire alarm went off, I ran to the panel and it said flow switch active in PAC so I ran to the fire sprinkler riser room and shut off the water,” Mr. Schmidt said. “I was devastated by the amount of water gushing from the ceiling.”

Water covered the carpet in the PAC and the lobby. The furniture, pianos, paintings, and other decorations were soaked.

“When I got over here it was like three or four inches and then you walked farther into the common area and it was just like a lake,” Drama Director Elaine Kloser said.

Mr. Schmidt and others had to take immediate action to protect what they could from severe damage. Mr. Wood, Mr. Garcia, Mr. Rothenberger, and Mr. Schmidt spent hours that night using large vacuums to remove the water from the lobby. They blasted the heat and tried to dry off the area as best as they could.

Luckily, they were able to salvage most of the furniture, and everything inside the lobby.

“[Water] fell on the piano which was kind of our biggest casualty. It still plays but it doesn’t sound good anymore and the keys stick,” Ms. Kloser said.

In total there were 3 broken fire sprinkler pipes in the PAC lobby, 24 leaks in Cronin women’s restroom, and 7 sprinkler leaks in the valley.

Overall, the damage in the PAC was not nearly the level they anticipated, thanks to Mr. Schmidt and everyone who helped remove the water from the floor and fix the ceiling tiles.

“I was near tears with gratitude,” Mr. Schmidt said.

The maintenance crew is instrumental to Jesuit, especially in crucial moments like these.

“Mr. Schmidt is a hero.” Ms. Kloser said.

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About the Contributor
Kiley Feller
Kiley Feller, Editor-in-Chief
Being born and raised in Oregon, Kiley Feller spends a majority of her free time out in nature. She loves the mountains where she skis every winter with her family and friends, the Oregon coast that she frequents with beach days and surf trips, and the many forests and lakes for hiking and swimming. She is interested in writing about the beautiful state that she lives in and how we can protect it. She is passionate about climate change and environmental conservation and wants to explore and write about Jesuit’s part in that. She also enjoys videography and interviewing and getting to know people from Jesuit. If not exploring Oregon, Kiley loves spending time with her friends. She additionally runs track for Jesuit and is looking forward to the next spring season.