Students said it's enough to make you sick. Leaks at Hopkinsville High is leading to some ugly issues.

Many ceiling tiles are stained while trash cans sit in a hallway and classroom to catch the dripping.

School officials were open about the issues and said a solution will take a major step.

"Just walking through the halls, there's trash cans full of this brown oozy liquid," said Hopkinsville High senior Anthony Lopez. "It's like syrup and soy sauce-looking. It's just sticky and smells, and it drips from the ceiling. It just lines the corners of the lunch room. It's just all through the halls and rooms. There have been occasions I've been walking behind someone, and it'll drip on them. The other day, it dripped onto my lunch tray. This is my lunch. I should be fine to eat here. I just sat down. I didn't even eat. I just lost all appetite.

"Why should I care about being here if they clearly don't care about the condition I'm supposed to be learning in?"

"In prolonged periods of rain, we're going to have leaks," said Brad Hawkins, chief operations officer for Christian County Schools.

Hawkins was open to News4 coming in and having a look at the school.

Ceiling tiles along a cafeteria wall were water damaged. Flaked paint chips were scattered along the bottom of the floor.

"A lot of times you get the tar, dirt that has built up there, and it washes down," said Hawkins. "When we see that, we begin cleaning that up."

Hawkins said they've already done two roofing projects and will be doing a third. He said they're doing the projects in stages and the next will address leaking in the hallway with two trash cans catching leaking.

Hawkins said a classroom that's now leaking has not been used this week. Several trash cans were inside that room Wednesday catching the drips. Water was also dripping on classroom seats and on the floor.

Lopez said one of his classes was in this room up until last week.

Hawkins also addressed a picture of a staff bathroom circulating on social media. The picture showed what appears to be tar pouring down the bathroom wall and pooling on the floor. Hawkins said the picture is from several years ago following a heavy rain over the course of a school break. When News4 saw the bathroom, it had been cleaned.

"We held a public forum last night," said Hawkins. "We are looking at replacing this building and Christian County High School. This building would be first. It has the greatest needs. We will be asking for a nickel tax to implement that plan, and obviously, this building is in desperate need of that."

Hawkins said they're hoping to start planning and designing a new school in the summer. He said they're only looking to replace the academic buildings at both high schools. The gymnasiums at both schools are in good shape.

Lopez wants to see a change soon.

"I may be leaving, but we have years of children including potentially my little brothers, coming into this school building," said Lopez. "It's not good at all."

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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