“Towards the end of the year, we run out of paper towels and soap, so it’s kind of nasty to wash your hands,” junior Joelle Pinto says of the girls’ restrooms.
“You guys get paper towels?” junior Ethan Crane injects.
According to CUSD operations manager Dan Paul, paper towels are not always used at the high school level because they cause issues such as students playing with them, sticking them to the walls and throwing them into urinals.
“They get [paper towels] and throw them on the floor or throw them in the urinals,” head custodian Jose Renteria says. “It’s just a big mess when they do that.”
Another main concern about the bathrooms is the lack of heat and hot water in the restrooms.
“I would love to have heat in the bathroom because they can get very cold in the mornings,” freshman Chandler Meyer says.
According to Paul, all of the restrooms were designed with no heat from the original design of the wings back in the ‘40s and ‘50s. He says it would be possible to get the restrooms heated, but there is cost involved in order to keep the air heated and conditioned.
Paul adds that the school traditionally doesn’t use hot water because the soap used works most effectively with cold water. If water heaters were to be installed to the bathrooms, tempering valves would also have to be bought and installed in order to avoid scolding.
Many males in the school have also expressed concern with the lack of dividers between urinals.
“[The upper bathrooms] could use some walls between the urinals,” freshman Bryce Bishop says, “and [in the lower bathroom] there is a hand dryer right in front of one the urinals.”
According to Paul, the district wanted a certain number of urinals in each bathroom and dividers put in place, but adding dividers would lead to fewer fixtures being installed. If dividers were to be installed, or the hand dryer were to be moved, it would take a lot of reconstruction and result in fewer urinals.
Many students also note complaints with the overall cleanliness of the restrooms; however, the restrooms are cleaned daily after school by a group of janitors sometimes on campus until 6 p.m. or later, working to keep the school clean. The problem doesn’t seem to be the lack of the bathrooms being cleaned thoroughly, but the fact that some students just don’t care.
As Renteria says, “[The biggest problem is] students not caring about how their bathrooms are going to look when they get done.”