'It’s not safe': Parents, staff hit boiling point over school's leaky roof
Crumbling ceiling tiles, brown soak-spots and waterlogged walls: welcome to life at Bayside Middle School.
Faculty and parents at the Central Saanich school say the roof has been leaking for more than 20 years, and buckets and mops must come out every time it rains heavily.
That’s why the school is asking the province to help pay for a new roof.
“This would be the number one problem that we would face, would be our roof. The gym roof and the rest of the school roof as well,” said vice-prinicpal Steve Newlove.
The school, which was built in the early 90s at the height of the leaky condo era, has been faulty for decades – and subsequent warranty work did little to patch up the problem.
That means during rainstorms like Monday’s, students dodge buckets full of water while taking part in P.E. class.
“Despite having done a major set of renovations or repairs to the roof over the last few years, $300,000 to $400,000-worth, there continue to be a few leaks that we think are manageable,” said Saanich School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Elder.
But some staff and parents say they’ve hit their boiling point.
“Why is the roof leaking?” said school monitor Nadine Dimock. “The school’s not that old. It’s a metal roof, you’d think it would be okay.”
“There’s puddles on the floor and it’s not safe for kids, and it’s really unfortunate that the school has a leaky gym,” said parent Tamara Lorincz.
The district is now asking the province for help building a new $2.3-million roof for the school.
The Ministry of Education confirmed it was aware of the problem and working on a solution, but it didn’t appear to be on the radar of minister Mike Bernier, who said the matter hadn’t been brought to his attention.
The roof will remain for at least the remainder of the school year, and while the district says it’s a major inconvenience, there is no mold or health risk.
Bayside PAC members say a student slipped on a puddle caused from the leak and fell, suffering a concussion, but that has not been confirmed with the district or school staff.