NEWS

School district sites damaged

Lisa Depies
Large trees destroyed by the July 21 storm lay on their sides near? Millkin Elementary School.

Storm damage of varying severity has been found at every school site in the ?Geneseo School District.

Worst hit were Atkinson? Elementary School and the former Howard School in rural Geneseo, now the Rock River Alternative ?School.

“At Atkinson, about a fourth of the roof over the big gym was peeled back,” said Jack Schlindwein, the school district’s director of operations.

The roof — which normally features a layer of insulation covered by a layer of rubber and then topped with gravel — now has a temporary seal, said Schlindwein.

“Some water did leak through on to the gym floor, and we now have a restoration company there trying to get the moisture out so the floor doesn’t buckle,” he explained. “One wall in the gym will also need to be re-painted.”

Clean up and restoration at Atkinson has been difficult because of a lack of power in the village. Schlindwein said generators currently are being used to provide power to the school.

Located in the same building is the Regional Office of Education. “There are six roof-type air conditioner units above the R.O.E., and one of those was tipped over and will need to be picked up and rewired,” said Schlindwein.

“The Atkinson building is going to require major roof work,” he said.

Roughly 15 miles west of the Atkinson school, Rock River Alternative School, whose property is owned by the Geneseo School District, also suffered damage.

“They win the trophy for having the most trees knocked over ... and they were big trees, too,” said Schlindwein.

In addition, Rock River Alternative? School has minor roof damage and a broken window. A tree also fell and damaged a garage door located on site.

In Geneseo itself, most of the schools suffered damage of some sort.

“Millikin has two fairly good size trees down. We’re in the process of cutting them down and removing them now,” said Schlindwein.

In addition, a baseball dugout located on school property was blown away, said Schlindwein.

At Geneseo High School, a piece of trim work was ripped off the press box and several trees also were knocked over.

A roof-top air conditioning unit was slightly damaged at the middle school.

At Southwest Elementary School, the storm ripped several gutters off the school and toppled trees at the back of the school property.

“We park one of our mini-buses at Southwest, and we had a branch go through its window,” said Schlindwein.

Northside Elementary ?School survived the storm “with only a few branches knocked down,” said Schlindwein.

The district’s maintenance crew is in the process of cleaning up much of the damage and hauling branches and limbs to the City of Geneseo’s burn pile, said Schlindwein.

Storm clean up will put the crew slightly behind on their normal list of summer maintenance jobs, but, Schlindwein added, if there was an “opportune” time to have a storm, “this summer was probably the best.”

“This is the first summer in awhile the maintenance crew hasn’t had major projects to do,” ?he said. Instead, the crew has been focused on “touch up jobs” and other projects best completed when school’s not in session.

Likewise, Schlindwein said having the storm hit when school is not in session has been “definitely” beneficial for the district.

“This is the worst storm damage I can remember in my 15 years (with the district),” he said.