By Betty Predmore
During the past few weeks, Holtville Middle School has experienced a lot of damage brought on by the Easter quake and the recurring aftershocks.
The initial damage was to the underground electrical wiring. One of the aftershocks that followed that initial quake caused the conduit containing the wires that fed to 12 of the classrooms to collapse. That left those classrooms without electricity. The wire damage repair cost approximately $79,587.
Electrical work performed by D.W. Hibbert totalled $55,002 and there was a cost of $25,585 for concrete work done by AM Desert Storm.
These repairs were approved at an emergency school board meeting on April 12th. Once this repair project got underway, it became clear that much of the asphalt around the concrete areas was damaged by the quakes and by the process of some of the repairs.
Last week the School Board held their regular meeting, at which time they approved an additional $46,400 to replace the remainder of the quad area with concrete.
The school is requesting disaster relief funding, and $38,800 of that additional money has been included in that request.
The remainder of the $46,400 will come from the capital improvement funds, which has been designated for maintenance and replacement of school facilities.
Although there is no guarantee that the disaster relief funds will be provided, the School Board found the repairs necessary to provide a safe environment for students and staff.
Students and staff alike at HMS are anxiously awaiting the completion of this project. It will provide an excellent lunch and assembly area.
There are six tree cutout areas with sprinklers placed in the concrete that will allow some greenery to be added to the area.
In addition to providing a great space for students and staff, replacing the asphalt with concrete also made the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was a concern expressed by one of the state’s structural engineers who inspected the school after the initial rounds of earthquakes.
By Betty Predmore