Wear and tear brings locker room despair

Talya Lehrich

Junior Margaret Goletiani was headed to the locker room to change for wrestling practice a few weeks ago when she noticed something strange. Water was trailing down the hallway leading to the girls’ locker room. Soon, she found herself trudging through no less than two inches of water covering the locker room floor. Though the custodial staff was quick to drain this river, it is just one example of the many issues that plague the girls’ locker room.

The locker room has a host of issues, some of which complicate life for Wilson athletes. Many Wilson athletes rely on the locker room to shower after practice in the morning or to change before after-school practice, however, maintenance issues have made such tasks increasingly difficult. Athletic Director Mitch Gore submitted a maintenance request to the Department of General Services, but teams reported that there have been no noticeable changes made to the locker room.
One of the biggest issues athletes encounter is limited hot water. “It’s almost like you are taking an ice shower. It is actually painful and it hurts your head,” said junior Lauren Jackson, a member of the crew team. The crew team uses the locker room to change after practice four mornings a week. “A lot of us are resorting to bringing wipes to school and trying to wash ourselves in like 30 seconds—jumping in and out of the water because there is nothing else we can do,” said Jackson. “The locker room sounds like someone is dying because everyone is screaming so loud because the showers are so painful.”

On top of its numerous issues with utilities, the locker room is infested with black mold. “There is mold everywhere,” said Jackson. “It’s on the walls, it’s on the floors, it’s in the showers.”
There were also no lights in the locker room for three weeks, forcing athletes to use phone flashlights to navigate the lockers and bathrooms as they change. In a student-athlete advisory board meeting, Athletic Coordinator Nadira Ricks said this was the first she was hearing of the issue.

Crew team member Claire Wigglesworth recommends student involvement to help clean the locker room. “We should have a school-wide cleanup day, or maybe one just dedicated to the locker room,” said Wigglesworth. “Students could get community service hours to clean the floors and walls of the locker room.”
The locker room is a place for athletes and teams to convene and change after practice. “It should not be a place notorious for disgusting odors and broken shower heads,” Wigglesworth said.