Schools survive flood in good shape | NevadaAppeal.com

Schools survive flood in good shape

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Jeremy Feeley, left, and Don Kelly of D.G. Hand repair a ceiling in a flood-damaged kindergarten classroom at Seeliger Elementary on Wednesday.
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Bordewich-Bray and Seeliger elementary schools suffered flooding or ceiling damage from the weekend’s rain storm, but administrators say both will be ready to open when students head back Monday.

The total damage in the Carson City School District is estimated at $10,000. The majority of that is in overtime costs or for contractor repairs.

“Considering that we have a million square feet of schools and the amount of water that came down both in rain and runoff, I think we’re real lucky,” said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the Carson City School District. “Try and work in luck and some amount of small planning.”

No significant problems were reported at other district schools. At Fritsch Elementary School, which has a new drainage system in its track field, the city posted a worker full-time Saturday to keep a storm drain from overflowing.

“We used to flood our neighbors to the east, but with the playground improvement it was not a problem this time,” Mitchell said.

At Bordewich-Bray, water running down King Street spilled over the curb and over the top of the rock wall of the back playground near the new addition. The playground and rock wall are below King Street level.

Water entered through the doors there, as well as through the main entrance to the school where a storm drain overflowed.

More than 10 rooms, including six classrooms, had 11Ú4 inches of silty water on their floors. No book shelves or furniture were damaged.

Yards neighboring the back of the track dumped water onto Bordewich property, washing away the sand underneath the swings.

“We don’t have a problem with water going off site to other properties,” Mitchell said. “It’s more that we get water from other properties coming onto our site.”

When he arrived at Bordewich about 6 a.m. Saturday, water had already entered the school. Still, he sandbagged the doors.

“In hindsight, I wish I had sandbagged them (earlier),” he said.

By about 11 a.m., the heavy rain had stopped, the runoff on King Street decreased and the storm drains weren’t shooting out water anymore.

To mitigate the damage, water was first sucked off the carpets. The carpets have since been cleaned three times with fresh soap and water. Little, if any, evidence of silt remains in the school. A huge fan is set at the school entrance to help dry things out.

“We like the way it’s cleaning up,” Mitchell said. “Really, you would never know (it was flooded) at this point.”

Plants along King Street could prevent Bordewich from being such a huge water receptacle in the future, he said. Carson Middle School, which is higher on King Street, suffered no effect from the storm but for a layer of mud on its circular driveway. Mitchell said to the east of the school, a house sandbagged on two sides was receiving much of the water.

At Seeliger, portions of ceilings in kindergarten, special-education and main computer classrooms were being cut out and allowed to dry Wednesday. The drains in the roofs overhead had overflowed and caused water to collect in the ceiling. Some of the tiles had fallen out. The three drains have been problems in the past, and Mitchell plans to use the opportunity to replace them.

“Between now and Monday we’ll have it all back together, so no one will ever know it happened,” he said.

None of the computers in the computer room was damaged, but that room’s carpet, which is older, will be replaced Friday. Of more than 30 drains on the roof, only the three have shown problems from the storm.

At Carson High, water came up to the front door on Saturday but did not enter. Mitchell attributed a lack of problems at the high school to a new city drainage ditch.

— Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.