East Rockaway high school on the mend

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Even though the building lacked the hustle and bustle of students going to and from classes, there were sights and sounds of recovery echoing through the hallways: electricians snaked wires, workers scraped and leveled cement floors and dozens of hard-hatted construction workers tackled the exterior. Much of the flood damage occurred in the basement and in the school’s left and right wings, which are lower than the main building. The left wing includes the large and small gym, while the auditorium and some seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, as well as the assistant principal’s office, are in the right wing. Some of the classrooms were not damaged, but tables and chairs had to be moved to the BOCES building. There was no damage to the second floor.

All of the damaged equipment was removed from the boiler room, and a new boiler and controls are being installed, along with a new water heater. Sinkholes around the property were filled in, and new floors had to be installed throughout.

“All of the flooring had to be mopped, cleaned and dried,” Melucci said. “And it had to be a certain temperature before they could lay a new floor down … it seems like one thing always depended on another to get done.”

The auditorium was stripped of all of its seats, which were made of cloth and were beyond repair. The plaster walls, flooring and window drapes will also have to be replaced. “When we came in the next day,” Melucci recalled, “the water was a foot and a half up the stage curtain. The side steps leading up the stage were just floating … you could tell the force of the water, because there was debris all the way to the seats in the back row.”

Other work that is being done at the high school includes:

The band and chorus rooms. The areas affected by water are being stripped and cleaned of any water damage to prepare for the installation of a new vinyl tile floor as well as shelving and storage that was damaged.

The kitchen. It was cleaned, and new equipment needed has been identified and is being priced.

Lockers. Student lockers were taken off the walls, cleaned and reinstalled.
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