The new weight room at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School – created in a former auto shop as part of an Under Armour-funded makeover of the school’s football field – was cited by fire officials last month for code violations including not properly building the floor and not securing hazardous materials.
Turns out the old repair pits with auto lifts in the school’s former automotive shop had been covered over with flimsy plywood and then topped with rubberized mats, according to the report by WBAL-TV aired this week.
“It was a hazmat situation,” Baltimore City Fire Marshall Deputy Chief Raymond O’Brocki told WBAL. “You just don’t hear of a school system or anybody just sort of [uni]laterally deciding to cover over these oil pits with plywood and rubber mats and create a weight room.”
Fire officials, who appear to have been alerted to the problem by the TV station, told their 11 I-team reporter the flimsy floor could have caved in under someone’s feet.
Upon learning of the problem on October 26, City Schools immediately contacted one of our environmental contractors, Waste Tron of Maryland (WTM), to assist in investigating this problem. WTM determined that the oil was recent and not from leakage from an abandoned hydraulic system beneath the floor. WTM removed the oil (approximately one quart).
The oil was removed October 31, after a two-day delay because of Hurricane Sandy 2012. No students were in the room after City Schools received notification on Friday, October 26, 2012 through October 31, 2012.
There is no issue with oil in this weight room, nor is there any risk posed by the abandoned hydraulic system beneath the floor. As always, the safety of our students is our primary concern. We are pleased that this weight room is fully ready to be used by Dunbar’s outstanding athletic programs.”