A round of applause accompanied the passage of a motion to allow the East Rockaway school district to lease Baldwin’s unused school buildings.
When the displaced group arrived at their new schools last week, they were greeted by welcome signs created by the Baldwin Civic Association.
Another important order of business was a recap of the damage to Baldwin school buildings. “We got very lucky,” said Superintendent Dr. James Mapes before reading a list of damages. “There was damage to the roof of the high school,” he said. “It was pretty much torn off. We got approval from the insurance company this afternoon to begin work on replacing it. That should take about a month.”
Mapes explained that the roofs of both the 400 and 600 buildings at the high school had sustained damage, and that temporary seals were in place until they could be repaired. The 400 building, he said, will be closed until the replacement is completed, but the 600 building will remain operational. Mapes also said that the roofs of the Brookside, Milburn and middle schools all had “some peeling,” which has since been repaired. He added that the middle and Meadow schools had minimal problems with flooding, and that all the buildings had seen some downed trees and fence damage, but those were already fixed.
“We’re back in business,” Mapes said with a smile, complimenting the district maintenance staff for keeping the damage from being much worse.
Missed days will be made up with vacation time
While Baldwin students won’t, for the most part, be attending school in ailing buildings, they will need to make up much of the time they missed. District students were unable to attend school for 10 days after Sandy struck, and Mapes said that seven of those days would need to be recouped. State law requires 180 days of school, but the commissioner of education can waive five of those days at the request of a district. (Any additional waivers must be approved by the State Legislature.)