Archive for Monday, March 13, 2006

Central, New York schools bear brunt of storm damage

March 13, 2006


A man surveys damage at Central Junior High School after strong winds blew a ventilation unit off the roof.

A man surveys damage at Central Junior High School after strong winds blew a ventilation unit off the roof.

Three, 500-pound ventilator units that, until Sunday morning, had been atop Central Junior High for almost 85 years are gone.

"It was pretty amazing," said Tom Bracciano, facilities and operations director for the Lawrence school district. "One of them ended up about a hundred yards away by the tennis courts. Another one was probably 50 yards away."

The third unit, Bracciano said, ended up in the "chiller pen," a fenced-in area that contains the three-story building's air-conditioning unit.

"We'll have to get a crane to lift it out," he said.

The units were each "probably six-feet tall and 5-feet across," Bracciano said. "For them to get thrown around like that was no easy feat."

Part of the original building, the units were obsolete and no longer in use. Central Junior High was built in 1921.

March 12, 2006, Storm

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  • "We'll have to get the holes (once covered by the units) capped," Bracciano said. "We had some other roof damage, too. I suspect the whole thing will end up costing about $10,000."

    Other damages included:

    ¢ Broken stonework on the southeast corner of the roof.

    ¢ At least two broken windows.

    ¢ Mangled football-field bleachers.

    ¢ Splintered trees.

    Of the nine schools known to have suffered damages during the storm, Central Junior High, 1400 Mass., was hit the hardest, Bracciano said.

    But repairs at New York elementary, 936 N.Y., may cost the most.

    "The cupola at New York has a metal roof that's been peeled back. It looks like there's some structural damage, too," Bracciano said.

    "We probably lost a couple hundred shingles,," he said "If we have to replace the whole roof, it'll be at least $20,000."

    The cupola, he said, is "strictly for aesthetics" but is part of the building's design and will be repaired.

    Central Junior High and New York were without electricity Sunday, prompting school officials to cancel Monday classes at both buildings.

    "The power was back up this morning at New York," Bracciano said. "It'll be ready to go (Tuesday). We're still waiting on Central."

    For USD 497, the storm caused about $100,000 in damages.

    "We're insured," Bracciano said. "We have a $10,000 deductible


    Central Junior High will remain closed on Tuesday. Julie Boyle, communications director for Lawrence Public Schools, said "We can't get the power up for Central, so we're going to call it."

    For more details about the repairs to Central, keep checking


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