The heavy rains Tuesday that caused water damage to three schools in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District won’t affect the reporting day for teachers next Thursday or the first day of school for students on Aug. 14.
Kurt Remmenga, the school district’s new maintenance and operations director, said everything will be back to normal by next week following the 3 1/4 inches of rain in about 40 minutes that produced the flash flooding in Windsor.
“It’s just a hiccup. This isn’t going to impact the start of school at all,” Remmenga said Wednesday afternoon. “It will take a couple of days to dry out, put everything back together and be ready for school. Teachers are able to get into all the schools and classrooms with the exception of a few in Tozer and Windsor Middle School right now.”
As for the amount of damages in dollars, Remmenga didn’t have any numbers yet.
“I don’t have any cost estimate. It’s too early to give any kind of an estimate on that,” Remmenga said.
Schools most affected were Windsor Middle School, Windsor High School and Tozer Primary School. Windsor-based All Phase Restoration had workers in the buildings early Wednesday morning setting up fans to kick the moisture into the air and using dehumidifiers to pull the moisture out of the air.
Remmenga said there were minimal water leaks to the other schools, but nothing to the extent at WMS, WHS and Tozer.
Tozer Primary School principal Shelly Butcher said the school district instantly had people at Tozer taking care of the damage.
“I had not seen rain coming down that hard,” Butcher said.
Dan Seegmiller, administrator on special assignment for the school district, said he was impressed at how quickly employees responded who were in the school building during the storm.
“More damage was averted because of the quick actions of maintenance crews, principals and any of the teaching staff that happened to be in the buildings,” Seegmiller said. “They jumped on it. They moved computers and books and all sorts of stuff that could have been damaged and got it out of the way, just very quick in all the buildings. Certainly there is a few things that got caught, but boy there was a lot more than could have been damaged had they not acted so quickly.”
Remmenga said Windsor Middle School had some roof leaks causing ceiling tiles to fall on the desks and the floor and water came up through the floor from the storm drainage system.
“The retention pond in front of the high school is a back up of the storm sewer drainage system and it runs right underneath the middle school,” Remmenga said. “We encourage kids not to swim in that retention pond. That’s a huge safety hazard. There’s a big culvert at the end of it. If one of those kids got caught in that water, it would not end with good results.”
Remmenga estimated that the retention pond holds about 10 feet of water.
“There’s a lot of water in there,” he said.
Wilf Ingersoll, manager at AP Restoration, said the middle school sustained the worst damage.
“It’s a lot of ceiling tiles and roof leaks throughout. There are two main classrooms that are trashed,” Ingersoll said. “The water came from above and just took out pretty much all the ceiling tiles and fell down on all the desks. Two classrooms and a break room took it pretty hard there.”
The high school had a few roof leaks, Remmenga said. Tozer had water damage to five classrooms on the eastside and three classrooms rooms and the hallway on the southside. The water came up against the side of the building at Tozer and under the doors.
Tozer, Windsor Middle School and Windsor High School have seemed to take the brunt of the heavy rains in the past.
“We have some drainage problems that are going to be a challenge for us to mitigate that and get the water away from the buildings,” Remmenga said. “We’ve got some drainage problems around all the schools. That’s a challenge that we’re going to have to find a solution to and get the water away from the schools.”