Island Park Superintendent Dr. Rosmarie Bovino updated residents at the Board of Education’s Nov. 26 meeting about the districts recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy and informed them that the scheduled February vacation would be cancelled.
“We have an education to provide,” Bovino said. “We have to make sure the children are able to accomplish academically what they need to accomplish in each of their subjects, in each of their grades.”
The district’s presentation on the recovery detailed the extensive damage suffered by the Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School — damage that may take six months to a year to repair.
According to Fred Seeba, of BBS Architects and Engineers, the boiler room in the school was submerged under eight feet of water and, while the boilers themselves can simply be dried out, the electronics in the room will need to be replaced.
Because the power is still out at the elementary school and it is unclear how high the water rose in other areas of the school, the administration has not yet been able to determine which electronics will need to be replaced.
The electrical switchgear was submerged, so temporary generators can’t be used immediately for electricity, Seeba said, though they will be using generators to power a temporary boiler and provide heat to the school. Once the school is heated, it will become clearer what flooring will have to be replaced. The gym floor has already been removed, as well as the hardwood floor of the computer room and some tiled floors of other rooms in the school.
According to Seeba, the Lincoln Orens Middle School fared much better and is currently housing 615 of the 730 students in the district. The remaining students have been attending schools in other districts, though Bovino said she expects more to return in the coming weeks.
The boiler room at the middle school was only partially underwater, and temporary generators are powering the school. According to Seeba, carpeting was placed on the gym floor to make it usable as a play area, and that any floor replacement would take at least two months to install.