Spring break remains unchanged
The Bridge City school board will form a committee of teachers, parents and community representatives to recommend how to raise money or cut funds to repair property damaged by Hurricane Ike.

Superintendent Jamey Harrison said the committee would have between 15 and 20 members. A bond issue is currently not an option, he said. An initial meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the district’s board room, 1021 W. Roundbunch Road.

 The Hatton and Sims campuses will be toured, and a schedule set up for more meetings in the future, Harrison said.

“We have to gather as much community input as we can before making a final decision,” he said. “This committee will allow for just that. This decision is critical to our district and to our community. Whatever decision we ultimately make will have very longterm implications for our community.” 

All district buildings received some type of damage, he said.

“The surge waters were most damaging, of course. Hatton Elementary and Sims Elementary were the hardest hit. Hatton took on about two feet of water. Sims was damaged much worse, receiving [more than] four feet of storm surge.” 

Sims repairs are estimated from $4 million and $6 million and will be considered a capital improvement project, he said. Also a cinderblock building with underground conduits, damage there was primarily electrical and mechanical.

“All the mechanical equipment like chillers and boilers will have to be complete replacements,” he said. “Because they were so close to the ground, the water damage was extensive.” 

Hatton, an old cinderblock building, encountered mechanical, electrical and plumbing problems, as did Sims, he said. An early adjusters’ assessment put repairs at Hatton in the $2 million range, he said.

“The building is all masonry construction,” he said. “We have to abandon most of the underground conduits requiring us to rewire most, if not all, of the building. With cinderblock walls, rewiring will be particularly challenging.

“We have completed temporary repairs at Bridge City Intermediate and Bridge City Middle School. The permanent repairs are planned for this summer. They cannot be completed while school is in session and kids are in the buildings. In relation to the scope of damage, we expect these repairs to be relatively routine to complete over the summer months.”

 In an updated calendar listing for the duration of the 2008-09 school year, available at the district Web site www.bridgecityisd.net/bcisd, dates for spring break have not changed. It remains March 9-13.

Calendar changes for the district include the following:
• May 25 is an instructional day, and no longer a holiday.
• April 10 remains a holiday.