Robotics lab floods, Team 8 temporarily relocates to MAC


Photo by Cayden Gu

Christie Hong and Lea Kwan

Paly Robotics Team 8 had to move lab spaces last week after their robotics lab in the 900s building flooded due to a roof leak during a rainstorm on Tuesday, March 21. The team was temporarily reloaded to the MAC atrium to adapt to the sudden changes.

Senior and co-captain Shalen Ardeshna said the storage area between the kitchen and the Java Shop had water flowing in, but the entrance to the room with the practice field got the worst of it, damaging electronics and equipment.

“The entire front area of the room with the entrance flooded with water, but luckily, our robot itself stayed (mostly) dry,” Ardeshna said. “It seems that something on the roof of 904 flew off during the wind and rain, causing the leaks.”

According to sophomore and lab manager Ryan Stonich, some of the ceiling insulation was damaged, and the water damage reached the upholstery room, causing costly replacements, while the move to the MAC led to slowdowns in work progress.

“Because of our (relocation), our deadline for the robot reveal, which is the video we were intending to film inside 904 and on the practice field, has been set back,” Stonich said.

Ardeshna said the flooding and lab shutdown is also hurting the team’s preparations for an upcoming competition, as well as other teams who share the lab space. 

 “Since we have a (regional) competition in Idaho next week, we were looking forward to using our space to run drive practice, and we now have to buy new batteries for our robot,” Ardeshna said. “We also had multiple local teams scheduled to use our field as most teams do not have a full field like we do, but we unfortunately had to cancel.”

Ardeshna said the team were able to get back into their lab space quickly since the janitors and admin helped to clean up the water and get the roof leak patched, which is still a temporary solution for the old building.

Ardeshna said, “There have been discussions for years about renovating this very old space and although these leaks have not seemed to move up the space on the school’s priority list for renovations, admin has told us that it should be fixed by the next time it rains.”