By Rick Palsgrove
In the early morning hours of Dec. 28, a Groveport Police officer noticed an unusual amount of water on the outside walls of the southeast classroom wing of Groveport Elementary.
The officer contacted Groveport Madison Schools officials who discovered that a hose on the back of a sink that connects it to the water supply in the third floor boys restroom had sprung a leak and sent water flowing through part of the school.
According to Groveport Madison Schools Superintendent Garilee Ogden, three classrooms, two offices, and the nearby stairwells were damaged by the water that flowed from the leaky hose.
The damaged affected the school’s hardwood classroom floors, floor tiles in the stairwells, plaster walls, equipment, furniture, and school supplies, according to Ogden.
The classroom floors in Groveport Elementary, which was built in 1923, are made of wood and the walls are plaster and brick.
Ogden said SERVPRO, a company that performs water clean-up and restoration services, worked in the school for several days to repair the water damage.
“They assessed all rooms for damage and moisture,” said Ogden. “Dryers were on and, as the company confirmed all moisture was gone, they laid floors and worked with contractors to replace ceilings, paint and patch walls, and more.”
Ogden said repairs progressed well.
“The third floor room is fourth grade and it was ready to be used on Jan. 7,” said Ogden. “The second-floor room is a kindergarten room. It will be able to be ready for class on Jan. 14 if all goes as planned with electricians and contractors. The first floor rooms are a preschool classroom and speech room. We cancelled preschool for the first week (we still met state requirements). Toys had to be bought and existing toys needed to be sterilized. Furniture needed to be replaced as well. Thank goodness our state review was the week before the holiday. We did get a 5-star rating!”
“We do not know yet about the cost to repair the damage, but I am expecting it to be close to $100,000. That amount is my guess only, it’s not an official number,” said Ogden, who added that the district will also be replacing the sink that led to the damage.
Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said some furniture and bookshelves were damaged by the water, but computers and Smartboards were not harmed. He said the carpets in offices affected by the leak were cleaned and the new hardwood floors in the classrooms that replaced the damaged floors have a similar look to the previous wood floors.
According to Ogden, the district spent an estimated $20,000 to replace books, workbooks, toys, and school supplies. She said Groveport Madison Assistant Treasurer Joyce Disharoon and new incoming Treasurer Felicia Drummey are working with the insurance company regarding the situation.
“We are keeping inventory of everything we need to buy and replace and purchased items,” said Ogden. “Insurance will cover the repairs and lost items. Felicia and Joyce will work on keeping track so we know what reimbursements to file for with insurance, as well as overtime and time teachers spent over the holidays working on their rooms. The stairwells also need flooring replaced and several areas need patching and paint.”
Ogden praised teachers and community volunteers for their efforts to help restore the damaged areas and items.
“Parents came in and helped sanitize toys and helped teachers go through books and clean furniture,” said Ogden. “We made sure things were clean for the kids. We appreciate all the help.”
Added Warner, “We appreciate the additional things the community donated to the school. We want to assure the community that the district is taking care of obtaining school supplies and materials the teachers need. We appreciate the spirit of generosity of the community.”