Damage to schools tops $300,000
Tonganoxie Elementary topped the list in the school district's tornado damage, said Richard Erickson Tonganoxie school superintendent.
"We're looking at a total of about $300,000 damage to district property," Erickson said. "Of that I would guess that about $288,000 probably would be at the elementary school."
Almost all of that damage can be attributed to the tar coating stripped off the school's roof by the tornado and the ensuing rainwater. During and after the tornado, at least one-half inch of rain showered the city.
"We had rainwater damage to books and to some of the teacher instructional materials," Erickson said. "Also to carpeting in the classrooms and I think we'll probably have damage to some of the computers and the VCR equipment in these classrooms as well."
At the junior high school, the press box on the junior high athletic field was totally destroyed.
And at the high school, the storm destroyed the new $10,000 scoreboard just erected last fall. The press box under construction at the high school athletic field was not damaged, but the visitors' bleachers on the east side of the football field flew four to five feet westward, stopping at the fence.
Diane Bretthauer, Mills Insurance Agency, said the visitors' bleachers have been condemned and will be off-limits during this week's regional track meet and graduation.
"But it was remarkable that at the new bleachers on the west side there was no damage," Bretthauer said.
Erickson noted the unpredictability of the storm's path, "It was interesting the way it avoided and missed some parts of the facility and hit others."
Meanwhile, to prevent further rain damage to the elementary school, Boon Brothers Roofing, Lansing, applied a new coating of tar to the roof Saturday.
"As soon as school is out next week they're going to come in and put on a permanent roof," Erickson said.
As far as pummeling the district's already smarting budget even further, Erickson said the damage in that area isn't so bad.
"We have $1,000 deductible for the district," Erickson said. "That's one thing nice about Hartford we have a real strong insurance policy with them and in a bad crisis situation they came through for us."
Bretthauer said she was grateful for the quick response to the emergency.
By the time she arrived back at the elementary school at 6:30 Friday morning, roofers from Boon Brothers were already getting started. And by 1 p.m. Friday, a structural engineer for the insurance company who specializes in tornado damage had arrived from Dallas.
"We spare no expense in making sure our children are safe," Bretthauer said.