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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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Library ceiling sees worsening water damage

Circles of water leak through the Palo Alto High school’s library ceiling. With heavier rainfall recently, flaws in the library’s infrastructure are becoming more apparent and the librarians are requesting for reconstruction of the roof. According to Assistant Librarian Deborah Henry, the water damage began in 2019 when the library opened, and it has been an ongoing problem since. “It’s imperative that we get the roof fixed,” Henry said. “It should have been fixed when they remodeled this building.”

Following heavy rainfall, water damage has worsened in the Palo Alto High School Library’s roof, with water spots and falling tiles from the ceiling. The librarians are requesting the roof to be fixed.

According to teacher-librarian Sima Thomas, the damages date back to 2019, when the library building first opened.

“Since then [2019], we’ve had a number of ceiling tiles that need fixing, the elevator’s gotten wet, we had some carpet discoloration and paint damage,” Thomas said.

Over the years, the damages have gotten more severe with rain, similar to the way leaks are threatening the school’s Media Arts Center, which opened in 2014. Assistant Librarian Deborah Henry said that the water had stained the library’s ceiling and compromised some of the paint on the walls and carpet.

“At one point, they had taped off a section of the floor because they were worried about the structure and where the panels are going to fall,” Thomas said.

According to Henry, the two have put in requests to have the ceiling panels replaced but to replace the faulty tiles, the entire roof has to be replaced.

“I know how busy other projects are, but we had originally hoped to have a new ceiling [and roof] when they redid this building because we knew previously there had been leaks,” Henry said.

Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said he does not see a new roof for the library in the near future.

“I would guess in the tens of thousands [dollars] to replace the roof,” Berkson said.

With increased rainfall, Thomas is concerned that the water will pose a threat to the library’s collection of books and historical documents. The library is home to 10,000 books, plus many artifacts like yearbooks, literary journals, magazines and journalism archives. 

The library is also an important place for students to study, receive help and hang out, which Henry said makes it even more important for the leaking issue to be fixed.

“We help with everything from duct tape on sandals that have broken to getting students through projects that they’re doing,” Henry said. “Helping them with their research, helping them with their pleasure reading, just being there. Sometimes, a student just needs a smile.”

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About the Contributors
Joy Tan
Joy Tan, Sports Editor, Multimedia Editor
Joy Tan (class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year and enjoys playing volleyball and taking photos.
Veronica Qiu
Veronica Qiu, News Editor
Veronica Qiu (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year. Outside of journalism she enjoys crocheting and listening to K-pop.

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