Some students return to Whitehall school as renovations progress ahead of schedule | Local |

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What I saw here was a new art room in Whitehall Junior High. The school was damaged by the August flood and is continuing to be renovated. Some students returned to the building.

The refurbishment of the gymnasium at Whitehall Junior High School is in progress. The students were only allowed to return to the building after a devastating flood last August. 

Shown here is the library of Whitehall Junior High School. The new carpet has been installed and the furniture will be repaired after the August flood. 

What I saw here was a refurbished classroom in Whitehall Junior High. Some students were put back into the building, which was badly damaged in the August flood.

Whitehall-Last week, a devastating flood in August destroyed the facility and five months later, some students returned to Whitehall Junior High.

The head of the school, Patrick Dee, told the Board of Education on Monday that the area has allowed a small number of students to return after refurbishing their rooms.

He said: "We are very happy to see the students back in the building."

Di said that 35 students in the four classrooms of the 2006 United went to high school in person. They start on the Tuesday after the MLK holiday. Another 29 junior and high school students are using elementary school space.

Except for some window sills and curtains, the decoration of the junior high school side building has been completed. According to Dee, workers need to repair the corridors and reinstall the furniture in the classrooms.

New windows have been installed in the wing of the junior high school. The removed wall has been put back into place. The new floor tiles have been placed and are in the process of sealing and polishing.

According to Dee, a new heating device has been installed.

The carpet is already in the library, and the furniture can be put in.

The remaining work to be done includes installing curtains, moving furniture from the corridor back to the classroom and polishing the floor.

Dee said he hopes the wing will be available to all students by the end of March.

New windows have been installed in the canteen and vents have been installed. The space has been repainted and some work needs to be done.

According to Dee, the stadium has been deprived and the bleach has been removed. He said that the contractor thought he might have all the materials in the building to adapt to the humidity of the building by the end of February. At this point, the floor can be installed.

The locker room is almost stripped and the mold repair is in progress.

In the high school wing, some new floors have been installed. The walls have been replaced, most of them have been painted, new windows have been installed, and the heating system has been completed. The science laboratory needs to do more.

Dee said he believes the advanced wing will be completed before the end of the school year. Initially, school officials did not think they would complete the junior high school wing before May, and were unsure whether the high school wing would be completed before the end of the year.

In addition, Dee provided some good news on the pool, which was also damaged in the flood. He said that the transformers and motors in the swimming pool worked normally during the test, so the scope of repairs would not be so extensive. The cost is approximately US$35,000. The board of directors can decide when to perform these repairs.

Dee praised the staff for not only dealing with the changes in the COVID-19 pandemic, but also dealing with the displacement caused by the flood.

After the storm the night before, the water was pumped into the parking lot of Whitehall Junior High on August 25. After the renovation, some students returned to the building. 

The August 24 storm poured up to 6 inches of water in parts of Whitehall. Every part of junior high school has stagnant water, ranging from a few inches to a few feet. For those students, the school district had to switch to full virtual learning.

The area’s insurance company, New York School Insurance Reciprocal, rejected most of the district’s claims because it determined that the property damage was caused by flooding rather than the back-up of sewer and drainage systems inside and outside the building. The area and its engineers have been identified.

It only agreed to pay $1.8 million.

In November, the board hired the law firm of Westbrook, Matthews and Copley in Washington, D.C. to obtain the arrears that school officials believed they deserved.

Di said that there is no latest news on this matter. Fortunately, so far, the area has been able to use the existing insurance funds, its fund balance and the remaining money of the ongoing capital project to pay for the project.

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The Whitehall School District has hired a law firm to try to collect insurance money it claims owes for the August flood.

As the area cleaned up the damage caused by the August storm, the Whitehall Junior High School building may be closed until March.

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