School board moves to speed Saks High repairs
by Brian Anderson
Jun 18, 2013 | 4933 views |  0 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Damage was visible Tuesday at Saks High School from a fire Sunday morning. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Damage was visible Tuesday at Saks High School from a fire Sunday morning. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Officials didn’t know Tuesday what it’ll cost to fix fire damage at Saks High School, but took steps to speed up repairs with the start of classes two months away.

At a quickly called meeting Tuesday, the Calhoun County Board of Education declared Saks High an emergency situation in order to circumvent state bid laws.

The meeting was a response to an electrical fire discovered Sunday at the school which caused smoke and water damage to one of the campus’ four buildings. Principal Jody Whaley said he was unsure if the school would be ready to re-open when students return to school on Aug. 19.

“I’m just hopeful that it is,” Whaley said, standing in a second-floor hallway Tuesday afternoon littered with ceiling tile and soot. “We’re looking at all our options at this point.”

Smoke damage was present throughout the building Tuesday, and much of the second floor’s ceiling was destroyed. Water had puddled in several of the second-floor classrooms from efforts to extinguish the flames Sunday, and much of the building smelled like sulfur.

Joe Dyar, superintendent of Calhoun County Schools, said the emergency declaration allows the board a loose time frame to make decisions about fixing damage at the school.

Mike Fincher, director of safety for Calhoun County Schools, told the board that he met with engineers and insurance adjusters Monday and Tuesday to discuss cleanup at the building. No cost estimates for the damage were available Tuesday.

“Phase one is clean-up enough to be able to assess the damage,” Fincher said. “We have to do that just to get to be able to find out what damage we have, and how to correct that damage.”

Staff Writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.
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