Town officials have received some good news last week about repairs to the storm-damaged roof at Fairfield Ludlowe High School -- the work, with the exception of the $100,000 deductible, will be covered by insurance.
The school was shut down Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 Friday after a storm seriously damaged the roof on a wing of the building. It re-opened Monday, but 15 classrooms in the school's Warner House were affected by the damage and classes had to be relocated.
The total damage estimate has been announced, but officials said the town would be fortunate to face only the $100,000 deductible.
"Our insurance company had people up there on Friday morning," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "We are fortunate that the coverage was there."
At this point, he said, it is believed that the Board of Education will be able to cover the $100,000 deductible out of its budget, although Superintendent of Schools David Title was unable to confirm that.
Tetreau was prepared to act on possible funding requests, if needed, at Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
Because the situation was declared an emergency, Tetreau said, repairs were able to begin right away and continued through the weekend.
Although a section of the school's Warner House will remain off limits, students were given one-time access to their lockers in the affected area's hallway to retrieve their belongings, school officials said. The homeroom schedule was extended as a result.
Otherwise, school officials have relocated classes that normally would take place in rooms along that Warner hallway.
Those classes are being held in open classrooms, lecture halls, the library-media center, the auditorium, the career center and even the yoga room.
The Board of Education's Long Range Facilities Plan adopted in 2011 calls for "minor roof replacement" at Fairfield Ludlowe in 2014-15, at an estimated cost of $461,614 and for "major roof replacement" in future years with work done in two phases and each phase esimated at $1.8 million.
The school was originally built in 1949, and according to the Board of Education website, last underwent renovations in 2005.
According to the 2011 report prepared by the state, the last major renovations at Fairfield Ludlowe were done in 2003.
That report indicates that there were problems identified with the roof but not yet addressed.
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