Roof damage to Rantoul school will cost estimated $250,000

RANTOUL — Initial estimates for damages to Broadmeadow Elementary School after a brief thunderstorm hit the school on June 16 are $250,000, Rantoul City Schools Interim Superintendent Michelle Ramage said Friday.

"We really need to have more information from our insurance company," Ramage said. "There's just a lot of pieces and parts involved. Nothing's firm yet, but at least that's a ballpark figure."

Ramage said the district's insurance company, Horton Insurance out of Orland Park, will help pay for the damages, but how much is still to be determined.

"We haven't sat down with the insurance company to do the final paperwork, so I can't say, 'Oh, they'll pay for 100 percent of it,'" Ramage said. "We have to figure all that out. I think that would be a little premature to say that piece yet."

The school — which houses students in third grade through fifth grade and is located in southwest Rantoul — sustained water damage and structural damage when high winds ripped off pieces of the roof around 12:45 p.m. June 16.

Debris was strewn about the school's grounds after the storm, and the gymnasium had 3 to 4 inches of standing water when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Ramage said the gymnasium floor is salvageable and the district won't have to replace it.

"I think it's going to be fine," she said. "The fact that we had a restoration company there Saturday afternoon and all weekend made a difference. The first thing was to get the water up off the floor. They sealed off the room and brought in all the dehumidifiers. That room was 115 degrees and full of humidity. It was quite a sauna to walk in there."

Roofers went to work installing a temporary rubber ballasted roof that was completed on Wednesday. Ramage said the district hopes to have the permanent roof replaced before school begins in mid-August, but that depends on when materials can be shipped and weather conditions.

She said she doesn't anticipate this incident from preventing school to start on time for the 2012-13 school year.

"Everything should be done sooner than that," Ramage said, "but I think we definitely have the goal of getting it done before school starts."

Ramage said after consulting with the insurance company the roof, which is 3 to 4 years old, was determined not to be faulty or installed incorrectly.

Some classrooms sustained damage to their ceilings, but "minimal damage" took place inside in the classrooms, Ramage said.

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