GHS, MHS starting repairs after fire, flood

Published 6:05 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

A state of emergency has been declared at Greenville High School and McKenzie School, a move that will allow the necessary repairs due to recent flooding and fire to get underway sooner.

“This will expedite the process and allow us to stay in line with the auditors by declaring these buildings in a state of emergency,” said interim superintendent Joseph Dean during Thursday night’s BOE work session.

At GHS, a pipe broke in the school’s fire extinguishing system the weekend of January 9 and caused extensive damage in Coach Donna Sunnycalb’s office and the gymnasium. New softball uniforms, equipment and the gym floor were all casualties of the flooding.

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Later, more flooding occurred in the band room, with a number of both student- and school-owned instruments receiving damage.

The estimated cost of repair at GHS is $309,000 which would include replacement of the ruined gym floor, said Allin Whittle, superintendent of buildings and grounds for the system.

At McKenzie School, a fire that same weekend damaged the school’s main electrical panels, forcing the school to temporarily operate on two generators.

Estimated cost of repair at McKenzie is $195,000, Whittle said.

A $500 deductible must be met at both schools; however, insurer Alabama Risk Management will foot the rest of the cost.

“We have always had some problems with the sprinkler system at the high school,” Whittle said.

He said estimates to replace the current system run $1.5 million with an additional $1.5 million needed to replace the ceiling, which would have to be torn out as part of the process.

Dr. Charles Farmer, GHS principal, said he is relieved the ball has started rolling on getting the necessary repairs done on his campus.

“We have been blessed in some respects. We’ve been able to use the athletic house for P.E. classes and the band has been using the auditorium stage,” Farmer said.

Randy Williams, principal of McKenzie School, said things had gone well using the generators.

“We haven’t had any problems and it does look like we’ll be able to go back to full power next week,” he said.