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The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Problem with Lafayette’s Water Fountains

A water fountain at Lafayette High School located in the science hallway, outside room 263. Photo taken on November 28th, 2023.

How do you stay hydrated throughout the school day? Do you bring a water bottle or use the school’s water fountains? Typically, the water fountains would be acceptable to use. They keep people hydrated and are accessible. However, many Lafayette students have complained about the water fountains in the school. Some say they aren’t sanitary, others agree they are distasteful, and a significant majority decided that they would rather not use them. Two water fountains aren’t working, one growing black mold and another completely blocked off. Lucas Melton commented, “They are all lukewarm, they’ve all got low water pressure, and they’re just nasty.” Another student agreed, adding, “[The fountains] can’t be trusted!”

“About eight years ago, I used some of the Energy Awards money our school gets [from the state] to get the water bottle refill stations on top of some of our fountains. So those are fairly new, but the fountains are ancient, and right now, two are completely out of order,” said Ms. Regnier, a science instructor at Lafayette.

“We put in work orders to fix them, but the district does not have many people working on plumbing, so it takes forever to repair plumbing.” said Regnier. The Home Builders Institute’s Construction Labor Market Report in Spring of 2021 found 55% of builders reporting plumber shortages. This implies that there is a high demand for plumbers and there’s a shortage in trades careers in general.

Regnier added, “I don’t even know if they will get to it. I’m gonna guess it’s probably just a low priority since it’s only a water fountain. It’s extremely frustrating.”

Kentucky’s Legislature (Title 902, Chapter 045, Regulation 150) says that schools in Kentucky must provide water to students, and most do that by installing water fountains. Section 2 states, “All drinking fountain installations shall meet the requirements of the State Plumbing Code and shall be maintained in proper working order with adequate pressure in a clean, sanitary condition.” Section 6 also states, “Special attention shall be given to maintain floor areas around drinking fountains and toilet and hand washing facilities free of water spillage.” Water fountains in schools must be maintained and cleaned, and some of our water fountains don’t look that way.

“I [bought] two brand new water fountains for the music department. I got those three years ago, and it took me two years to get the district to install them. They weren’t going to pay for it anymore either, so then I had to use some other money that we had from that Energy Award funding to get them installed, and the installation cost was more than the water fountains cost because we didn’t have a district person to install them, and had to hire a private contractor.” stated Regnier.

“There are many things in this building that need to be replaced. The water fountains are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Regnier

Lafayette’s building has had many issues recently, such as water damage and fires. Still, long-term problems have been, including vandalism and damage in bathrooms, mice, broken ceiling panels, and water fountains. Considering the more recent events, such as the fire in Beeler Auditorium and the leak causing ice in the senior parking lot, it is understandable that water fountains aren’t high on the priority list. However, they are still one of the complications here at Lafayette, and students would enjoy them better if they were fixed.

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About the Contributors
Maggie Colthurst, Staff Writer
Maggie Colthurst is a freshman at Lafayette High School in the Pre-Engineering and SCAPA programs. She is excited to work for the Lafayette Times and find great stories to write about. She loves to swim, play guitar, and participate in theater and archery. She listens to lots of music and goes to concerts as much as she can.
Mia Kai, Staff Writer
Mia Kai is a freshman at Lafayette High School. She loves writing and drawing, and is currently writing an adventure novel. She is excited to write and edit stories for the Lafayette Times. Outside of art and writing, she plays the violin and is a part of the Lafayette Concert Orchestra.