Fire marshall finds errors in annual inspection

Whether it meant traveling, staying out late or spending time with friends, spring break was a time for students and teachers to relax, but for the theatre department, it meant an unexpected visit during a spring break rehearsal. This visit gives the theatre department a minor setback with its plans its upcoming play, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” This visit was from the fire marshall.

This was the fire marshall’s yearly visit which is made every year to ensure the safety of the students and staff, according to Principal Sonny Arnel. Every year there are multiple corrections needing to be made by the school before the fire marshall can deem the school safe.

“There were minor things such as curtains in teachers’ classrooms needing to be fire retardant and clutter in storage areas and electric closets,” Dr. Arnel said.

Though there were multiple corrections needing to be made all around the school, one of the most prominent departments needing fixing was the theatre department.

At first, Director Ms. Michelle Moll and Dr. Arnel were told the department would have to repaint the entire set to make it fire proof, but Ms. Moll found out they would not have to do that after all.

“[The fire marshall] told me that we had to repaint our entire set with fire retardant paint; everything had to be repainted by opening night of our show. I was very shocked because I had never heard of a theatre having to do that,” Ms. Moll said. “It also really worried me because of the limited time we have until our show opens and the high cost of the fire retardant paint.”

Though the set would be fine left as is, there are still a lot of changes the department must make in order to move forward with the show. The fire marshall said theatre needs to move set pieces out of the wings backstage and clean out the storage room, the prop closet and the scene shop.

“This year he found multiple pieces needing to have corrections made to them,” Dr. Arnel said. “For the theatre department, it was mostly exits and clear routes in case of a fire along with the building of sets.”

Students, such as senior Melissa Mossinghoff, are just as worried as Ms. Moll is about what will happen.

“Basically, there were a million things ‘wrong,’ some which made sense and a lot that didn’t,” Mossinghoff said. “We felt that, with so many things we would have to fix, we would be set so far behind [with the play], if we even had the time to do it.”

The fire marshall will be back again before the opening night of the play. Dr. Arnel says all of the corrections are in the process of being made or already have been made.

“We are making sure the corrections are being made in order to ensure the safety of our students,” Dr. Arnel said. “It’s our priority to make the students and staff safe.”