CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa The race is on to finish work at several Cedar Rapids schools before students return in August. In addition to already scheduled renovations, several district facilities sustained damage in recent storms. School officials admit the deadline is tight. Construction crews at Washington High School were already behind on scheduled renovations to the building, due to all the snow days that extended the school year. Then flash flooding sent water pouring into the lower level of the building creating a muddy mess and damaging thousands of dollars worth of brand new equipment.
Clean up from the storm which took place two weeks ago still is underway and it will be a while before repairs are finished, only adding to the workload. Washington isn’t the only building trying to clean up from storm damage. The stage and some seating in Jefferson’s auditorium still is drying out and needs to be replaced. The school’s baseball field needs new lights after high winds broke several of them. Clean up is nearly complete at Cleveland then repair work will begin. School officials are confident school will start on time as long as there are no more set backs.
It’s been stressful, but our staff has done a good job adjusting and absorbing this. I’m really nervous about anything else though. If we have any more problems it’s going to be very stressful for us to be ready by the first day, said Rob Kleinsmith, Cedar Rapids School’s Buildings and Grounds Manager.
District officials say they will have to hire outside help for much of the clean up and repairs from the storm since their crews already have a heavy workload. The estimated cost of repairing all the damage in the district is around $1 million. The district says some of the repairs may not be finished by the time school begins, and some temporary measures may need to be put in place so class isn’t disrupted.