Summer repairs fail to fully fix bathrooms


Elie Salem

Throughout last school year, Wilson amenities in the bathrooms and hallways were often broken or missing. In February, The Beacon reported that the broken items totaled 52, including 27 soap dispensers. Over the summer, Wilson made some repairs, though many appliances remain broken.

Among the damaged items in the boys bathrooms are four sink handles, three urinals, and two air dryers. Girls bathrooms are considerably worse; seven toilets/stalls are out of use, five soap dispensers are missing, and another six dispensers are without soap.

“We can never use things because they are always broken,” said junior Lauren Jackson. “I hate the fact that we have to wait to use the toilets because half are broken or the sink and soap dispensers are broken.”

Faculty bathrooms, in which students aren’t allowed, have similar issues. The second-floor faculty bathroom is out of service because the toilet isn’t functioning, and the soap in the third floor faculty bathroom is not in the soap dispenser.

Manager of Strategy and Logistics Brandon Hall stated that Wilson replaced all the soap dispensers and stocked them during the summer, but gains made in repairs have been backtracked by student misuse. “You’ve got to understand too that in the past as fast as we’ve fixed them they’ve been broken. There were instances when we would see soap all over the walls,” said Hall. “Individuals are not as antsy in vandalizing things as they have been in the past or writing graffiti and things of that nature so I don’t think [it will be as bad as previous years]. This is just the beginning of the year so we’ll see later on.”

Mechanical appliances, such as air dryers, urinals, sinks, and toilets, can only be fixed by the Department of General Services (DGS) because they require structural repairs, and are above the expertise of individual schools. Over the summer, DGS worked with Wilson to repair 15 urinals, along with any issues that posed a safety risk. DGS oversees all DC government buildings, so all agencies under the DC framework are piled on their plate and not just DCPS schools, which is a lot,” said Hall.

DGS did not respond to a request to comment.

Applications to DGS for new bathroom repairs were filed approximately a month ago, but no timetable has been set.