The flooding that shut down Northeast Dubois Intermediate School last week has caused extensive damage to the gymnasium portion of the school the corporation announced Tuesday.
Last Monday evening a torrential downpour hit the northeast corner of the county resulting in up to ten inches of rainfall by the time the rain was finished — up to five inches fell in the first hour. Water filled the basement of the gymnasium up into the first floor of the building — school officials estimated the water was up to 12 feet deep in the school. Story here.
While the classrooms at the intermediate school are located in a portion of the school further uphill, the gymnasium took the brunt of the water damage since it sits at a lower elevation.
According to a press release sent out on the corporation’s Facebook Page, the gymnasium has been closed. “After consultation with insurance and engineers from Universal Design it has been determined that the gym will not be able to be repaired for the current school year and possibly longer,” the corporation stated online.
According to Superintendent Bill Hochgesang, the gym floor sustained heavy damage from the water and a retaining wall is no longer stable. Crews have added a temporary wall but the damages to the gym have made it unusable at this time. “Structurally, it is not sound and the floor is in bad shape,” he said.
The school board will be discussing plans moving forward at the next school board meeting, Hochgesang said. “Decisions that will have to be made by the board will regarding whether we put it back the way it was, do we make some improvements, or fix the issues,” he added.
With the addition being completed at the Northeast Jr./SR. High School, a new gym being added there is expected to be completed in next spring. “We will be back to what we currently have by March,” Hochgesang said. “That (new gym) will help us a lot in deciding where we go from here.”
In the meantime, the corporation will be working on finding alternative sites for activities and sports normally hosted in the intermediate school’s gymnasium.
According to Hochgesang, the majority of the damage is focused around the gymnasium portion of that wing of the building. “We haven’t made a decision on the multipurpose room and kitchen yet,” he said.
It was important to get the information out about the gymnasium closure so the athletic director could begin to make plans moving forward without the gym.