Building improvements and retrofits are common in schools. Over the years we have had several additions and some remodeling. The two biggest have been additions and wiring retrofits. The wiring is the most important to me as a computer and business teacher. Our rooms were retrofitted with wiring in the floor and additional wiring on the walls. These have been critical as we moved away from typewriters and only a few computers. These retrofits sometimes lead to strange consequences. One such event was the time we tried to make an old woodshop a STEM room that had a full complement of computers. The first thing we started to see is that the far side of the room couldn’t connect to the internet. I tried everything I could think of from software to hardware. The ports were active. The switches worked in other parts of the room. I spent a couple of weeks troubleshooting the issue. I finally gave up when I realized the closet we were coming from. It was a problem that most people won’t face because their wiring closet is close to the machines. I walked it off one day and realized that the room was at the very end of the distance that basic ethernet wiring can go. I would start up a machine and the small amount of bandwidth was stretched to the limit. When you fired up a second machine it got much less and after a few machines, nothing worked. We had to abandon the idea of using that room.
The other electrical wiring issue was one that could only happen in a government operation. We had some power added to the back of a couple of our rooms. We have an electrical board in our storeroom about 20 feet away. It would make sense that the wiring was there. We blew the circuit breaker once and it took us 2 days to find the right switch. I checked every one of the electrical panels in the department. I had a strange hunch that I followed a couple of days later. The wiring came as part of a remodel that included our receiving area downstairs. Just on chance I went to the new panels and low and behold found the switch at the bottom of the farthest panel from the room. So instead of adding to a panel that has lots of space 20 feet away, they went with a panel on a different floor and about 75+ feet away. This proves that the cosmos has a sense of humor. I now have to make sure that people know it before I retire or it could be very funny for the next person.