Armani Jackson, Managing Editor
For those who notice it, admiring the subtle imprint of a leaf in the concrete floor of the Arts and Allied Health Building can be a daily occurrence.
This imprint is on the second floor hallway next to north-facing stairs and the faculty offices. It’s been there since the AAH was built about six years ago after a leaf landed on the wet concrete before the windows were installed.
Tarps were laid over the setting concrete to prevent leaves from flying in, Media Engineer Jim Butler said. But when contractors were pulling the tarps off, the imprint was there.
“It was just one of those flukes (and they) decided to leaf it,” Butler said. “I absolutely love it. Depending upon the circumstances where it was pressed into the concrete from the tarps that were to prevent leaves and stuff from getting on there, it was like a defiant leaf (saying) ‘I’ll show you.’”
Even though the tarps were in place, Butler said a gust of wind may have lifted them allowing the leaf to enter underneath it, but he was n’t the one who monitored the site.
Director of Facilities and Construction Manager Jim Taylor said repair and removal of the imprint would’ve required jackhammering and repouring part of the concrete, which would’ve been more expensive and unsightly.
Contractors could’ve laid an additional layer of concrete over the imprint, but it’d end up chipping, meaning concrete would’ve had to be continuously relaid.
Butler isn’t sure why removal of the imprint was considered, but possibly because contractors thought the accidental imprint would’ve violated their contract with the college. Taylor doesn’t recall removal being seriously considered.
Pouring of the concrete may have taken place at the beginning of fall according to Butler’s estimate, potentially explaining exactly where the leaf came from, but it was too long ago to recall the actual date. Taylor estimates it occurred in late 2009.
Some gardeners believe the trees surrounding the AAH are of the oak and evergreen variety, so the imprint may be an oak leaf.
“For most people who know it’s there, we call it ‘accidental art,’” Butler said. “It wasn’t designed to be there, but nobody that knows it was there would ever take it away.”
The imprint is even an attraction to visitors. Butler says he always points it out to people who visit the Puyallup campus.
“We had some visitors from Korea and we did a little dog and pony (over-staged presentation), showed them the theater, studio – stuff like that,” Butler said. “As we were walking down, I made everybody stop. You can walk right over it without noticing it, (but) if you’re at the right angle you can see it real clearly. I pointed it out and they thought it was pretty funny.”
As far as similar imprints around campus go, Butler’s sure they exist but has yet to discover them. One such case is near the elevator on the second floor of the AAH. There’s a piece of metal embedded in the floor, most likely to have fallen in during construction.
Some Pierce students have never noticed the imprint.
“I never really put any thought into it, but it’s cute,” student Brooklin Look said.
Others such as student Madeline Hornbuckle didn’t know the imprint was there until the beginning of spring quarter.
“It brightens my day and reminds me of an episode of The Office,” Hornbuckle said.
The leaf, although accidental, has left a lasting imprint on staff and students alike.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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