The construction company Dimeo put down chemicals, which includes a silicon spray, on the pavement in order to prevent water from seeping into the concrete.
In response to numerous complaints from students, principal Andrew Stephens voiced his knowledge in order to shed light on the pavement situation.
Stephens explained that the silicon spray is an extension of an issue that came about last winter. This issue had to do with the concrete pavers along the sidewalks being pitted, which is having a hollow or indentation on the surface, due to the salt eating up the pavement. The construction company wanted to “add to the life of the concrete,” according to Stephens, which is where the silicon spray came in.
Students have complained about the side effects of this spray to a great degree. Senior Averey M. said that concrete “smells really gross” and sophomore Lauren B. “feels it is bad for [her] body.” Another complaint of the concrete comes from sophomore Kaya T., who said the pavement is “really slippery” and told of her English teacher “falling and hurting her back walking into school,” due to the slippery effect that the spray has on the concrete.
Stephens addressed the idea that the chemicals do smell, yet he emphasized that it is temporary.
In addition, when touching upon the texture that the chemicals leave on the pavement that leads to the slippery feeling, Stephens said, “as people walk on it and it seasons, that is not as prevalent.”
Also, students cannot see any positive change in the appearance of the sidewalks. Junior Kellie E. said the walkways “look all wet now and slippery and ugly.”
Not only the physical appearance, but the inconvenience of the workers putting down this silicon spray was brought up by junior Ellie P, she said, “[The pavement] is always roped off, but people just walk on it anyway, so I walk on it, too.”
As for the reasoning behind the frequency and earliness of putting down these chemicals, Dimeo decides when and how often to spray the chemicals, according to Mr. Stephens.
While the issue is most prevalent in the winter, the spray cannot be put off for that long. Stephens said that the workers “are doing it when they are able to do it,” and the frequency, as well as the inconvenience to students walking on the pavement, is essentially uncontrollable.
Mr. Stephens addressed these issues as much to say that timing is a great part of this building project, and “flexibility is key.”