This is a wall.
It is a very nice wall.
It is slightly abused and dirty at the moment from kid grime and drywall dust and chunks.
But that is not the problem. The problem is that it hides a Very Bad Thing. What is it that it hides? Why, two runs of very crappy pipe. The water lines for the upstairs bathrooms run down the inside of this wall.
But you would never know this unless you happened upon some accurate blueprints somewhere. Even if you knew the pipes were there, you wouldn’t know they were crappy without evidence of failure elsewhere.
It looks harmless, does it not? More than that, it looks to be doing its job holding up the ceiling and keeping the door to closet separate from the door to the bathroom. What more could you really want?
You don’t know what’s going on until you open things up occasionally and take a look.
Or something bad happens.
Like the plumbing breaks and you find out the pipe is crap.
Or you learn you have a brain tumor and you feel that you have an invader in your head or body is attacking itself.
I suspect the students, staff, and faculty of Sweet Briar understand this feeling. It’s something that could have been solved with transparency and openness. The decision and announcement still would have been painful, but probably not as painful.
Surprises like this just suck.
When the plumber gave us a rough estimate of replumbing the entire house, he said, “A lot of times I give that figure and come back and find a for-sale sign. Some people just don’t want to pay for a new plumbing.” Unfortunately, I am going to have to guess that rarely, if ever, do potential buyers get told of major plumbing needs. After all, it is all behind a wall or ceiling and it might just be okay. I just could not do that to someone. It’s wrong on so many levels.
Anyhow, I feel that if you can’t trust a wall, you can you trust?