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Students told to stay home after flood

K-2 grades missed one day as rooms dried out

BOOKS sit open and on the floor in Dolores Elementary School Principal Sherri Maxwell. They sit open so they can dry out following a flood that affected several classrooms after the weekend's heavy rains.


Kindergarten, first- and second-grade students at Dolores Elementary School were told to stay home Wednesday as a crew set out to repair water damage that occurred over the weekend.

Heavy rains, in combination with cold weather resulted in a flood in the kindergarten, first- and second-grade wing of the Dolores Elementary School.

School officials arrived at the school Monday morning to discover that four classrooms on the east side of the wing had been flooded and water had stretched across the hallway.

Principal Sherri Maxwell said it was school as usual on Monday and Tuesday as students in the affected rooms were divided and placed in the non-affected rooms.

"The students were amazing," said First-Grade Teacher Shirley Tourjee.

She added that the students took the damage and combining classrooms in stride.

As the heavy rain fell over the weekend, cold weather also created ice dams, explained Maxwell. The water then seeped under the walls. Experts were called in to assess the damage and by then, water had seeped as much as two feet up into the walls.

"We were concerned about the walls," Maxwell said.

Experts were called in to take a look. And that is when school was called off for the day.

The baseboards were removed from every wall and large holes were drilled every six inches along the base of the walls to help moisture escape the walls. Bravo, a cleaning and restoration company out of Cortez, was called to do this work, which including spraying a substance that would inhibit the growth of mold in the walls.

Maxwell said that by Thursday, 80 percent of the water was out of the rooms and was safe for children to be back in the classrooms.

Fans will continue to dry out the walls over the weekend, Maxwell said.

Maxwell added that the recently voter-approved BEST grant and matching bond will go to fix drainage issues on the school campus.

"Drainage was a huge part of the grant," Maxwell said. "We struggle with rain in this building."

The estimated damages by the flood are in the thousands. But surprisingly, not too much, other than the wet carpets and walls, was damaged.

"We lost a few bookshelves," Maxwell said.

Some books were also chalked up as losses and on Wednesday, books sat open everywhere in Maxwell's office, in an attempt to dry them out.

Business Manager Karen Andrews said work on the drainage issues will likely begin this summer.

"We will be fixing all this, this summer," Superintendent Scott Cooper said. "It is all about drainage out of that courtyard."

This is a challenge because of the campus' location.

"Our campus sits on the old river bed," Cooper said.

A RESTORATION company drilled large holes all along the base of the walls in several classrooms this week to help the walls dry out and avoid mold problems. Students were told to stay home Wednesday so the walls could dry out and a company could spray an anti-fungal spray in the walls. Enlargephoto

SHANNON LIVICK/STAR

A RESTORATION company drilled large holes all along the base of the walls in several classrooms this week to help the walls dry out and avoid mold problems. Students were told to stay home Wednesday so the walls could dry out and a company could spray an anti-fungal spray in the walls.

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