Returning from Winter Break, MSJ students and faculty dealt with temporary heat loss in classrooms as a result of a broken water pipe that feeds the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The FUSD Maintenance Department detected the broken pipe, which was connected to the heating boiler, on January 3 right after it burst. According to Principal Jeff Evans, the district responded quickly and appointed a welding team to repair the broken pipe, prompting the administration to turn off the boiler. When classes resumed after the break, some space heaters were available to affected parts of the school — mainly in the N-Wing, C-Wing, and M-Wing — to try and prevent temperatures from dropping excessively. Some M-Wing teachers reported classroom temperatures as low as 55 degrees. The school administration anticipates that heat levels will be restored to proper temperatures on Wednesday, January 8, following repairs made on the previous day. Once the pipes were fully scrutinized and repaired by the welding crew on January 7, the boilers were turned back on in hopes of them restoring the heating system. They are supposed to resume powering the HVAC system which is expected to be fully functioning in a day or two.
MSJ has faced many infrastructure malfunctions in the past that required immediate repair, sometimes hindering school activity. “We had busted water pipes last year that we had to dig up and fix, so, things do break,” Evans said, referring to an instance of pipe deterioration covered by the Smoke Signal in November 2018 which spurred discussion about aging infrastructure on campus. However, according to Evans, the school should be receiving a new HVAC system within the next few years. “My hope is that they can find a way to do it, and based on these major malfunctions, that they expedite the process so that we get something sooner,” Evans said.
Photo Courtesy Senior Sakshi Prabhu