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.”

A. Gideon November 20, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Every modern computer has a few different unique identifying characteristics: the system serial, the ethernet address, and perhaps additional serials of some of the key components. I hope that the district was able to provide at least a couple of these to the police for each machine. I'd really like to see the people responsible for the theft of computers from a grade school caught and punished. On the plus side, mention was made at the BOE meeting of this article - http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2012/11/montclair_troop_seeks_donation.html - which describes the effort of Girl Scout Troop 20189, prompted by MHS freshman Giovanna Mullen, to help replace these stolen devices. ...Andrew
Montclairlong November 20, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I missed the meeting. Any updates on MH Principal search?
A. Gideon November 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I don't recall that being mentioned. Sorry. ...Andrew
esther November 28, 2012 at 04:26 AM
If FEMA is paying 75K and the insurance company hasn't even determined how much it will cover it sounds like this is just a knee-jerk headline. And if you have to dip into reserve funds like I do at times, can't the reserve funds be paid back like I do at times? And in the grand scheme of things like the overall budget 100 K with a 75 K reimbursement on the horizon makes this a non-story. And the insurance company hasn't even weighed in? How about some answers about the computers and their individual identifiers-please tell me the school had the information to pass on to the authorities.


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