GCS Paying the Price for Costly Storm Cleanup

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Triad schools are busy clearing storm damage, and the cost is quickly adding up.

We all know Guilford County Schools, like most other districts, is hurting for money. Aging schools, increasing prices and decreasing budgets are putting the district in a tough spot. Last week's storm has made the problem much worse.

The maintenance department has a tall task on its hands, cleaning up storm damage at Bluford Elementary in Greensboro. But that's only the beginning. "This is typical of what you'll see at a lot of schools throughout our district," said GCS Maintenance Director Gerald Greeson.

Seventy-five percent of the district's buildings have some sort of damage inside or out. It comes with a hefty price tag. "Half a million dollars taken out of that budget, immediately now, it's challenging times for us," said Greeson. Because their capital improvement budget is already spread thin. "Normally we would be doing HVAC repairs, boiler replacements, chiller replacements, roofing replacements. This price is half a million dollars, then a half a million dollars' worth of new equipment will not be able to be put into our schools."

District reps say branch piles in front of Pleasant Garden Elementary school is a common sight at several schools. Allen Middle School saw the most damage indoors. Seven classrooms had water damage. "New ceiling tiles, working on roofs making sure they're not continuing to leak. We've had a busy 3 or 4 days." And it could be several more days before all this mess is cleaned up.

The district will eventually file an insurance claim to hopefully get some of that money back.


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