October 22, 2014

Elyria
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North Ridgeville Schools reopen for class after big cleanup post-flooding

North Ridgeville High School maintenance crews worked day and night to clean up after flood waters filled the Northeast corner of the building, including the boiler room. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

North Ridgeville High School maintenance crews worked day and night to clean up after flood waters filled the Northeast corner of the building, including the boiler room. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — They worked all night, but got the job done.

Custodial staffs and cleaning crews worked from late Monday night through 1 a.m. Wednesday to be sure all seven of the city’s school buildings could open their doors to students Wednesday.

“I can’t say enough about the job the cleaning staff and custodians did to get everything ready,” Bill Greene, assistant superintendent for building services, said Wednesday.

“We were pretty sure about being able to get six of our seven buildings ready, but they also got the middle school ready as well,” Greene said. “A lot of people were amazed we got back in when we did.”

Crews worked from late Monday night through Tuesday at the high school, which sustained a considerable amount of damage from torrential rains, but personnel were at it until 1 a.m. Wednesday at the middle school.

After spending much of the night Monday and morning hours Tuesday getting up to 18 inches of water out of the building, head custodian Steve Esber and others, then spent the remainder of the day and evening working to clean up the mess.

Hailey Ackerman, a music instructor at North Ridgeville Middle School, digs through music that was destroyed by flood waters. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Hailey Ackerman, a music instructor at North Ridgeville Middle School, digs through music that was destroyed by flood waters. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

“They busted their behinds at the high school, and after that, everybody came over to the middle school,” Esber said. “The seniors were our priority. They depend on us. They have to have these days in order to graduate.’’

Custodial and cleaning employees as well as substitute workers arrived at the middle school Tuesday where they went to work in production-line fashion, Esber said.

“They were sanitizing floors, furniture, walls and moving everything around,” Esber said.

A secondary cleaning was to be done after school Wednesday.

“You have to do that when you have that many kids moving through the building,” Esber said.

Esber, and Roger Fleming, the head custodian at the high school, agreed Monday’s rain produced the worst flooding they had seen in seven such incidents at both schools since June.

Officials of the county Health Department stopped by the school and gave personnel high marks for following all safety and health procedures, including sanitizing and disinfecting, Greene said.

“That reinforces our practices and made us feel good for doing everything right,” Greene said.

Esber thanked voters for the passage of the $58.1 million bond issue last fall that will be used to construct a new middle school to replace the district’s aging middle school built in 1923.

“We are working very hard (to care for the school), but we can’t wait to break ground,” Esber said.

Greene estimated a $10,000 loss from the rains, including $5,000 in damaged textbooks and materials, and another $5,000 in labor costs for the cleanup.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.