NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Work crews for Nacogdoches ISD are cleaning-up and repairing extensive damage left by last week’s winter storm.
Nacogdoches ISD facilities director Ralph LaRue has a routine when preparing for winter storms starting with turning up the heat.
“We had more than enough heat. Everything was turned on. Turned off,” LaRue said
However, numerous busted pipes still happened at several campuses, leading to extensive water damage.
“The power killed us. The lack of power,” Larue said. “This insane, stand-alone grid, whatever the problem is. I don’t understand it, but going without any power for hours let the coils freeze up and let the pipes freeze up.”
At the high school, water poured from a rooftop heating air conditioning unit into computer labs and down hallways. Water-soaked ceiling panels caused wall paint to peel. Even worse, one end of the competition gym floor began to buckle.
LaRue said crews inspected buildings shortly before and saw no problems.
“We walked it. Bone dry. Water was working,” LaRue said. “And then, four hours later, a pipe thawed out and flooded the building.”
Specialists used dehumidifiers to draw water from the gym floor into a barrel. Fans were placed in a science lab.
Dr. Kenneth Matthews, the principal of Nacogdoches High School, has the goal to have classrooms in order by Wednesday.
“Very optimistic,” said Matthews as he showed numerous cell phone images of damages. “But that will be a decision that will have to be made by the central office.”
Until then, it’s online learning.
“With the understanding that we have a number of students and staff who can’t access the internet,” said district communications director Les Linebarger.
Other schools with damage include the Brooks Quinn Jones and Carpenter Elementary campuses.
It’s too early to estimate repair costs. The NISD school board will receive an update on storm damage when it meets Thursday at six.