School Storm Cleanup to Exceed $100,000
The George Inness Annex received extensive roof damage, which will total between $40,000 to $50,000 to repair.
The Montclair School District is expecting to get a bill for more than $100,000 to repair damage done by Super Storm Sandy, according to early estimates.
Interim Business Administrator Nick Puleio said on Monday that the district is still evaluating the cost for repairs of the storm that knocked out power to several schools and canceled classes for more than a week, but he believed the final number will be at least six figures.
Nonetheless, Puleio said the storm could have been worse.
“Most of the buildings seem to have held up pretty well,” he said.
Puleio reported that most of the damage from the storm was inflicted to the district’s infrastructure and school roofs.
Four buildings sustained roof damage: Edgemont and Bradford schools, the administration building and the Montclair High School. The George Inness Annex at the high school received the worst roof damage, added Puleio, and will cost an estimated $40,000 to $50,000 to repair.
In addition, the roof of the storage garage at Woodman Field collapsed, and the fences there and at another field will need repairs.
The overall cost will also include about $25,000 for the theft of 27 Apple iMac computers from Nishuane School between Oct. 30 and 31. At the time, the school had no power.
The district is in the process of cataloguing its damages and getting estimates on overtime costs, said Puleio. Claims are currently being filed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the district’s insurance carrier.
FEMA is expected to reimburse the district up to 75 percent of the cost for repairs, said Puleio. He added that it was too early to offer a timeline for when the district will receive the reimbursement, and he was unable to positively say when all the repairs will be completed.
In the short term, the district must pay for the repair costs itself. It is still unclear whether the district’s operating budget will cover the costs or if the district will have to dip into its reserve funds.
“We haven’t been able to make that determination yet,” said Puleio. “But [using the district’s reserve funds] is always a possibility.”