Laurel High students back in classrooms flooded by last week's storm

2011-09-06T17:30:00Z 2011-09-07T07:50:04Z Laurel High students back in classrooms flooded by last week's storm

Gazette Staff

The Billings Gazette
September 06, 2011 5:30 pm  • 

LAUREL — Students are back in the five classrooms drenched by a sudden, late-summer rainstorm last week at Laurel High School.

“Things are moving along well,” said Tim Bronk, superintendent of Laurel Public Schools.

A sixth room, the computer lab, is still empty. It was the worst hit by the storm, and the carpet in the room will likely need to be replaced, Bronk said.

The 34 computers drenched by rain water may be salvaged. Bronk said the insurance company has instructed staff at the school to start them up and use the ones that still work.

An insurance adjuster will be back at the school later this week to finish inspecting the damage. At that point, the school will get a cost estimate of the damage.

Last Monday, a roofing contractor was laying down a new section of a rubberlike material when a storm accompanied by high winds blew through Laurel and ripped up the roofing.

That left nothing but a layer of plywood between the rain and the school interior, and rainwater soon soaked through ceiling tiles and poured into the classrooms and one hallway.

The contractor, Empire Roofing, will be liable for the damage, Bronk said. Crews were replacing 85 to 90 percent of the high school roof, putting down a new synthetic rubber material called Hypalon.

Despite the setback, Bronk said the company was still on schedule to finish its work by mid-October.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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