Middle School Damaged In Flood - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/30/04-Jacksonville

Middle School Damaged In Flood

Exposed walls, wet carpet, drenched cabinets... that's what's left after a portion of Nichols Intermediate School in Jacksonville flooded earlier this week.

"I got a call Tuesday afternoon late around 6 o'clock that we had a fire alarm situation with our sprinkler system in the building that we'd had a malfunction and that we had a flooded building," said Superintendent Stuart Bird.

Bird was one of the first to arrive following the flooding. He found water standing 2-3 inches deep in some classrooms. Textbooks that were sitting in hallways were completely ruined. Ceiling tiles soaked with water, and computers and teaching material were all left unusable. In all, 21 classrooms were affected.

They believe the water actually started coming down from an upstairs room. They think a sprinkler head, recently replaced due to a recall, started shooting off 55 gallons of water per minute filling up the room and flooding all the rooms below.

Crews began tearing down some of the most heavily damaged walls Wednesday. Moisture testing shows they could have to replace even more.

Bird said his concern is not only for the school building but for those who use it everyday.

"We had teachers, not in many classrooms, but we did have some teachers you know that have personal teaching materials that they depend on every year which was ruined," said Bird. "I worry about all those kinds of things and I worry about people's moral and we're gonna try and have this thing in good shape where everybody can go back to work."

Students get back from Christmas break on Tuesday. The Superintendent said two of the rooms, may not be ready for classes. He believes the company that installed the sprinkler system, is responsible for the damage. He estimates that damage at $150-200,000.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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