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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Power returns just in time for first day of school

Construction+members+work+to+restore+power.+The+power+outage+was+caused+after+the+crew+accidentally+hit+a+main+power+line+while+boring+through+the+ground+near+the+900s+building.+%28Photo%3A+Divij+Motwani%29
Construction members work to restore power. The power outage was caused after the crew accidentally hit a main power line while boring through the ground near the 900s building. (Photo: Divij Motwani)

Only hours before teachers kicked off the new school year, electrical power returned to the Palo Alto High School campus at around 5 p.m. today.

A five-day outage had caused darkened classrooms, non-functional air conditioning and spotty Wi-Fi since Friday.

Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said the power went out when construction workers cut through an electrical line while attempting to connect the fire alarm systems between Paly’s buildings. The power outage required the construction team to order specific equipment to remedy the blackout.

“They had to have a part sent here from Nevada on Monday and it got here at around 11 a.m. [Tuesday],” Berkson said.

The outage forced many teachers to rearrange their schedules, including English teacher Kindel Launer who had to relocate to other district locations for her meetings.

“There is a routine to the start of school that you get your head into and so that has been disrupted,” Launer said. “I had a late afternoon meeting that was supposed to be at the district, but since all Paly staff essentially took over the district office, that meeting got moved over to Addison, the elementary school.”

Despite the inconvenience of the outage, English teacher Lucy Filppu said her first day of school lesson plans were unaffected as she was planning to focus on community building exercises to welcome students back from the break.

“All teachers know that you have to think on the fly – this is what we’re trained for,” Filppu said. “This is a distraction, this is a disruption, but everyone’s got a really good attitude about it. We’ve dealt with a pandemic, we’ve dealt with power outages before, we’ve dealt with storms, we can deal with anything. Nothing phases teachers.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Feng, Senior Staff Writer
Anna Feng (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys volunteering, listening to podcasts and spending time outdoors.
Kristine Lin, Managing Editor
Kristine Lin (Class of 2025) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys going on scenic hikes, taking road trips, and traveling to new places.

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