Hearne High School continues renovation process after water damage from winter storm

The district is determined to make the best of the situation
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) -Nearly two weeks after a winter freeze wreaked havoc across the state, Hearne ISD is working hard to restore Hearne High School after it suffered from major water damage. According to Jay Davis, Executive Director of operations for Hearne ISD, a pipe burst, leaving most of the building under inches of water.

Davis says the damage is extensive and is estimated to cost over $3 million. The campus library, band room, classrooms, and gym suffered major water damage prompting the district to hire a company out of Houston to restore the school. The company will remove the water, sanitize the building, prevent the spread of germs and mold, and replace sheetrock and flooring.

Davis says with multiple school districts across the state suffering from some type of damage Hearne is fortunate to find a company that can quickly come and start the remediation process.

“They’re estimating the restoration process will be three to four weeks, so we have about two weeks left of that, and at that point, they will begin the reconstruction,” said Davis. “Once they got the water out of the building, they began drying everything; they have large pipes all the way through the building, drying everything out.”

District superintendent Dr. Adrian Johnson says he considers the damage just a temporary setback. He says the pandemic has already placed the district in a position of utilizing online learning. The situation is more inconvenient for the students that benefit from in-person learning, said Johnson. Despite the challenges, Johnson says they will make the best of the situation.

“Our students are resilient, they’re tough, they’re strong, we’re going to get through this together,” said Johnson. “Because we’re already working on using virtual technology to teach our students online, it hasn’t really had that great of impact at this time.”

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Davis says he estimates that some students could return to campus in the next few weeks, but the overall renovation should be completed before starting the new school year in August.

“We hope to be finished with construction by Aug. 1, and the gym floor will actually be finished in mid-July,” said Davis. “I think the kids will be excited to come back to a very fresh, newly painted, new floor, very nice building.”

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