A bystander of the incident, junior Catherine Morrissey, described the scene: “We then ran inside to see a waterfall erupting from the ceiling of the gym, pouring black water everywhere. In about ten seconds, almost the entire floor had been filled.”
CAPE ELIZABETH - On the morning of Monday, October 31st, a ball struck a sprinkler head, causing 800 gallons of water to flood the high school gymnasium floor, according to Principal Jeffrey Shedd.
Luckily, no one was injured, but the two-year-old gym floor was damaged beyond repair.
According to Director of Facilities and Transportation Greg Marles, renovation of the gym floor will cost a hefty $150,000. The gym’s ventilation system is also being replaced, costing an additional $105,000, but the money for that project had been set aside before the flooding of the gym floor.
Changes to the school’s insurance policy on the basis of this incident are currently unknown.
The student who kicked the ball into the sprinkler system reports that he never intended to cause damage, stating, “It was an accident, and I wasn't trying to hit the ceiling, mostly because the ceiling, we had declared, was an automatic out.”
The repairs in the gym won’t be finished before winter sports begin, forcing teams to practice elsewhere.
Another member of the basketball team, Robel Hagos reported, “Tryouts start in 2 weeks, and it’s the worst time for this to happen because they can’t practice after school.”
“It’s very disappointing. Not enough time to practice before the season starts. Tough getting practice time in, the times will have to be later, just not a good situation,” says basketball player Jacob Allen.
Practices are looking to be held at South Portland High School, Scarborough High School, SMCC, and Cape’s middle school gym.