Demolition of the Lake High School building could begin this week after the school board and the district’s insurer reached an agreement the building should be completely razed.
Tim Krugh, board president, Thursday said the board and Traveler’s Insurance Co. concluded negotiations that morning with the company agreeing to the full coverage limit of $19.1 million for the building.
Traveler’s had taken the position that about half of the building - mostly classroom and office space in the west end - was salvageable and could be repaired.
“It took a little longer than we would have liked but the outcome was good,” Krugh said. “The settlement allows us to move forward in earnest with the rebuilding process.”
Negotiations between the parties stretched over three months since the June 5 tornado swept through the area.
Jim Witt, district superintendent, said preliminary work on designing a new building has begun and the board and administration are committed to having a new building open for students by the start of the 2011-12 school year.
Total damage to the building, including contents, could reach $25 million, Krugh said. In all, the district incurred losses of about $30 million, including damage to other buildings.
Following the announcement of the settlement, school officials and representatives of Rudolph/Libbe, Inc. led the news media on a tour of the building.
Books, paper plates, papers, glass, and other debris cover the floor of room 230, where chemistry and physiology were taught. Many of the windows are broken.
Witt notes that none of the chemicals stored in the classroom were disturbed enough to cause a danger – which was a concern of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Puddles of water cover much of the second floor hall and parts of the ceiling grid drape into the hallway and classrooms.
Room 211, the high school media center, is completely gone and mold grows on many of the walls in the high school offices.
Of the agreement with the insurer, Joe Vancena, field operations manager for Rudolph/Libbe, declared: “It’s the happiest day I’ve had since June 5.”