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Friday, December 19, 2014

Schools reeling from Sandy
Massive damage, delays caused by superstorm

Schools in Island Park and Oceanside are still struggling to open more than a week after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area.

Most schools in Oceanside came out of the storm without significant damage. But School 8 and School 9E were not as lucky. Workers have been going around the clock since the storm subsided to repair the buildings. The boiler at School 8 was destroyed by flooding, and workers are working on installing a temporary one. Floors in parts of the building will also need to be replaced.

“As long as we can get power and dry it out, we’ll be OK,” said Louis Frontario, assistant superintendent for business. Frontario said that environmental inspectors are at both schools in Oceanside, supervising the cleanup and making sure there are no contaminants, such as mold and E. coli.

“We have to be sure it’s clean,” Frontario said.

School 9E had more damage than School 8. About one third of the building had water damage and has required more cleanup than School 8.

Officials from the school district met on Tuesday to decide a plan for when to reopen the schools. Classes in Oceanside will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 13. As of press time on Tuesday, on Schools 3, 5 and 7 have power, but the district expects more to be repowered.

Because of the damage at School 8, classes for School 8 students will take place at School 6. School 8 families will receive more information from their principal. The building may not be able to reopen for a month. A parent meeting is supposed to be scheduled for Friday.

On the district’s website, it said that if more schools didn’t have power by Nov. 13 that additional plans would be considered “in order to return all students to school as soon as possible.”

The Pre-K program will not be in session next week. Pre-K parents will receive more information from the school. Kindergarten classes will be in regular session.

The schools in Island Park were hit even harder than those in Oceanside. Both schools lost their boilers and the gym at Lincoln Orens Middle School was destroyed by flooding. Workers are at the school repairing the floor in the lunch room, and environmentalists are making sure the building is safe.

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