CHS undergoes emergency repair for flooding

The project was funded with bonds through the Monmouth County Freeholders and will cost about $2.1 million.
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Creative commons photo courtesy of Murphb1220

The project was funded with bonds through the Monmouth County Freeholders and will cost about $2.1 million. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Evan Kuo and Katherine Lombardi

On August 1, the familiar flow of students in the hallways was replaced by a river of water streaming down the stairs.

The flooding was caused by an automatic toilet on the second floor that flushed continuously overnight, spilling water down the stairs and into the cafeteria. By the time staff had arrived the next morning, Principal James Gleason estimated that about an inch of water was on the floor. Water also spilled into hallways and classrooms, as well as through the ceiling. 

“We weren’t expecting a flood, and certainly didn’t want a flood, but at least it wasn’t Sept. 1,” Gleason said. “It would have been a huge problem for us to open school on time.” 

As part of what Gleason calls the “project we were not expecting,” the flooring and carpeting in the multipurpose room was replaced, along with ceiling tiles, kickboards and electrical work.

The CHS building also underwent scheduled renovations along with the emergency work. Contractors replaced the roof, along with new heating and air conditioning units. 

According to MCVSD Business Administrator Collete Flatt, the project was funded with bonds through the Monmouth County Freeholders and is expected to cost $2.1 million. 

In terms of who handles the repairs, Gleason said it differs with every scenario, but generally multiple contractors can bid on a project. The winning bidders can then choose to either complete the job with their company, or subcontract to others. CHS teachers also occasionally help with renovation projects as a form of summer work, such as Radio teacher Bill Bengle and History teacher Bill Clark, who helped clean up the cafeteria following the incident. 

According to Flatt, the flood repair is initially estimated to cost the district $69,000. Although money was not set aside for this purpose, there is money available from the county to help cover the cost.

“We are fortunate to have good insurance, maintenance and custodians that work very hard, and support from the Freeholders,” Flatt said.

Gleason hopes the new changes will create an improved environment for students and staff.

“It’s all these behind these scenes things that are hopefully better for our environment, keeping things dry, but also comfort level,” Gleason said. “You don’t see it, but hopefully we feel the difference.”

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