Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alice Canham
People across Irving are dealing with the effects of hail that pelted the city on April 3. But at Irving ISD, the focus is still on the last big storm.
“We’re still dealing with the storm that occurred on May 24, 2011,” said Scott Layne, Assistant Superintendent/School Support Services. “We were the hardest hit school district in the Metroplex. The District suffered significant damage, estimated right now at $18 million.”
About nineteen campuses were affected, Layne said, and many of the vehicles in the District’s maintenance fleet also sustained damage.
But the District is lucky in one regard: “We are insured through the Risk Management Fund of the Texas Association of School Boards, or TASB,” said Layne. “So the majority of costs for the repairs are covered by TASB.”
The District pays a $250,000 deductible for each occurrence, which Irving ISD includes in its budget each year. Although 19 campuses were impacted, the storm event only counted as one occurrence.
It’s a convoluted process to repair so many campuses, Layne explained, so the work was divided into four phases. The School Board has approved the first two phases, with two additional phases to go.
“The first phase involved seven projects for a total of about $7.8 million,” Layne said. “The second phase was three projects with a total of $1.5 million, and the third phase is four projects that total about $3.3 million.
“That’ll leave five more schools needing repairs.”
Here is another good piece of luck: None of the schools involved in the 2011 storm were targeted by this year’s hailstorm.
“It’s too early to determine for sure, but I believe there will be seven more buildings,” said Layne. “All different from the first group.
“We’re still in the process of analyzing those roofs.”
Stopgap measures are taken immediately after a storm to plug holes and forestall leaking. Layne added that the District uses a roofing consultant to make the safety assessments.
Roofing repairs have been underway for three months because there were so many demands, with the first phase containing the most severely damaged buildings.
“We had one building at Irving High School, the gymnasium in the gymnastics building, where the storm literally tore off the metal roof,” Layne explained. “It completely damaged the gym floor, so the wood flooring and the roof both had to be replaced.
“Most of the work is replacing roofs, with damage to air conditioning units, exhaust fans, things like that.”
It all mounts up. Authorities at TASB put the extent of the damage in perspective: “They told us that this is the largest single claim in their history,” Layne said. “I asked them if we were going to get a trophy for that, but they just laughed.”