Storms damage roof at West Side
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 September 6, 2012 5:08PM
The library at West Side High School is closed while water damage from recent roof damage is repaired. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:37PM
GARY — Recent rainstorms ripped off a section of the roof at the West Side Leadership Academy, causing major damage inside the east end of the building.
Gary Community School Corp. officials said Thursday a Detroit-based firm had workers on the scene for the emergency clean-up and to purify the air.
“The company went straight to work to rid the building of any airborne particles and to ensure that the building is hazard-free,” said Virgil Lincoln, supervisor of building and grounds. “When there is water damage, the area has to be treated immediately to prevent further damage and an unhealthy environment.”
A parent who went to the school Thursday to meet her daughter’s teacher said students have been sitting in classrooms with large fans. She said tiles had been removed from the ceiling.
A visit to the school Thursday revealed the library had been gutted by the water damage. Its carpeting had been removed, along with ceiling tiles and plastic sheets covered the walls.
Students were removed from affected classrooms, officials said.
JCG Disaster Restoration workers sealed the eastern section of roof, which was sectioned off by red flags. Classrooms have been cleaned and water-damaged carpet and equipment have been removed, officials said.
Water still dripped into white buckets in some hallways. Large dehumidifiers dotted the halls.
Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said the district’s top priority is to make sure the school is a safe school and work environment. Next, she said school officials will restore the building and replace electronic equipment as quickly as possible. Major repairs to the roof should start soon, she said.