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Relief for Owego-Apalachin Schools

Good news for Owego-Apalachin schools, almost one year to the day after half the district’s buildings were destroyed by flooding.

Relief for Owego-Apalachin Schools

September 4, 2012

Owego (WENY) - Good news for Owego-Apalachin schools, almost one year to the day after half the district's buildings were destroyed by flooding. FEMA announced it will replace four buildings, and district leaders are beyond excited. The Owego Elementary school, The administration building and both maintenance buildings were all under water. The district is still working to get back to normal from the flood. Only three days away from the anniversary of the floods and the memories are still fresh. Tony Clark, the supervisor of facilities for the district, says you can still see the water marks left from the flood.

      “We put everything up as high as we could but the last time I left this building a year ago I was standing in two foot of water out here in the parking lot.”

      The floods destroyed his office and the garage, and all the supplies stored in it.

     “We do have some supplies on hand but for the most part when we have a project on hand we have to run to the hardware or electric store,” says Clark.

      The district sustained about $32 million worth of damage. Today FEMA announced it will cover 75 percent of the rebuilding costs, and Governor Cuomo announced the state will cover the rest. In the mean time, school district staff and students will have to deal with some changes over the next two years until the new buildings are ready.

     “Our fifth graders are now at the middle school and our administrators are taking up academic space here at the high school we're making due,” says District Superintendent Dr. Bill Russell. “Our Pre-k kids are in a couple of rental classrooms and our maintenance people are working out of their cars.”

     The school district is also flood proofing the existing buildings by adding flood proof doors.