School administrators in Belgrade agreed this week to solicit proposals to resolve a sewer problem at the district administrative office allegedly caused by a collapsed clay sewer line.
In an interview with the Belgrade News, Superintendent Godfrey Saunders said that a significant amount of raw sewage overflowed from the toilets at the district office a few weeks ago, but no one is sure yet what caused the backup or the extent of the problem.
Saunders told school board members at a special meeting on Tuesday that when the plumbers first came to try to flush the line, their equipment could not exceed about 110 feet. It is suspected that the clay sewer line collapsed.
Discussing the issue with city officials, Saunders said he learned that the onus would be on the school district to fix the issue, possibly to the tune of around $ 200,000. Saunders said that figure is “a guess,” and it is hoped that the request for proposal (RFP) authorized by the trustees this week will solicit more specific offers.
Saunders said the costs of cleaning and repairing damage to the administration building will be covered by insurance, but it is likely that the building’s reserve funds will be used for repairing the sewer line.
During this time, the district office has been sufficiently cleaned and disinfected, but there is only one working toilet in the building. This has prompted administrators to consider moving their operations to the Heck School building this summer, as students will not be returning to Heck Quaw in the fall, but will instead attend the brand new elementary school in Story Creek.
Although the last day of school is June 8, Saunders said movers likely wouldn’t be available to move things out of the building in Story Creek until July, meaning administrators likely won’t be moving until.
The sewage problem is also affecting the Quaw building, Saunders added. Principal Lori Degenhart said the restrooms near Quaw Gymnasium have been closed, but there are others in the building that staff and students have been able to use.
Meanwhile, a committee formed several months ago to make decisions on the future use of the Heck Quaw complex is expected to meet next June, Saunders said. Among the uses of the facilities that have been considered, we find:
n Alternative school
n Expanded district office / conference room
n Adult education / evening school / summer school
n Recreation center / community hall
n Head Start / preschool / daycare
n Heck Quaw Kindergarten