Roundup: Construction woes

Did you have to go to the main office at all this week? Do you even know where the main office is? The environment was a study in contrasts, with the office full of wandering staff just checking things out, construction workers busily attending to building details, and harried secretaries trying to impose order on the chaos. It appeared to be most intense for the secretaries who, but for the unfortunate incident we at the Pine Needle were able to capture on video (see below), were able to keep their cool:



The adventures and strange trips into the new area are too numerous to track, but some of our favorites include these:

A student walked into class late on Tuesday morning, the first day back from break. The teacher asked him where his pass was. He replied with alarm: “The attendance office is gone!” The teacher chose not to send him to get a pass.

Early in the week, a student received a pass from the attendance office asking him to report to the office immediately. At that point the teacher still had no idea where the attendance office was and so in handing the pass to the student simply told him, “Good luck,” and sent him on his way.

The day after Christmas break, the plywood came down, unleashing the stress of transition upon the main offices! Photo by: Skylar Larson

To reach the guidance and activities offices without stepping on the new tile (which needs to lie still for a day or two before it can be walked on), visitors had to walk through the downstairs entry to the new wing, up the first set of stairs, down the hall of the new wing, down the elevator, and down one more hallway. Reports of seeing Little Red Riding Hood picking wildflowers slightly off the trail were unconfirmed, as were the rumors of the Minotaur being discovered in the classroom next to the activities office.

The situation left everyone wishing there was such a thing as Stupendously Quick-curing Mortar and Grout for the tile. Even that might not have helped, however, since Tuesday night someone walked on it, forcing the tile crew to restart a section. Surely each tile ruined sprang a new gray hair in Mr. Talley’s head. We should note that we haven’t actually inspected Mr. Talley for gray hair, but if he makes it through this addition without any, he should win some kind of award. If you doubt the correlation between stress and gray hair, our understanding at the Pine Needle is that it has been scientifically confirmed that high levels of stress can lead to gray hair. What levels of stress lead to pink hair is not known, but we have a hunch it is off the charts, given the the quantity of pink in principals’ secretary Mandy Hennies’s hair.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned elevator proved to be a source of headache as it broke down early in the week, prompting counselors to volunteer that when they needed a student, they’d come and get them themselves rather than send the students on a wild goose chase.

The elevator began working again, however, but not for too long. On Thursday a number of students found themselves stuck inside it. It turned out not to be a problem solving activity for class but an actual problem. They were soon liberated; however, this brings to mind the guy a few years ago in his office building who was trapped in an elevator for 41 hours.


Come to think of it, perhaps the party who walked on the unfinished tile had known about that guy and was too terrified to use the elevator? We may never know.

None of this is how the transition into the new wing was supposed to go, of course, but it’s not for lack of effort on the part of administration, construction crews, or staff. Perhaps it simply proves how relevant is the wisdom of literature classes, who continue to teach the words of Robert Burns made particularly famous by John Steinbeck:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!