UPDATE: Oxford Center School Damages in Excess of $100K

A tree fell on one of the school's buildings and it will cost more than $100,000 to repair, superintendent says. It could take a 10 days to two-and-a-half weeks for repairs.

Updated at 6:30 p.m.

A tree fell on a classroom building at Oxford Center School over the weekend and will cost more than $100,000 to repair, interim Superintendent James Connelly told Oxford Patch Monday evening.

He said "building No. 6" needs a new roof because the old one was punctured by a large branch, plus wiring and insulation in the building needs to be replaced.

"We are waiting on proposals from the roofer, but they said it was going to be in excess of $100,000," he said. "That's a lot more than we thought it was."

A tree limb fell over the weekend on "campus buildings" in back of the main portion of the school over the weekend. Nobody was in the building when the tree fell and nobody was injured. 

The earliest work will be finished is in 10 days Connelly said Tuesday, but he said it could take two-and-a-half weeks. He said he and board Chairwoman Rose McKinnon will meet to discuss declaring a state of emergency, which would allow the school board to waive the bidding process and expedite the repair process. He also said school Business Manager Rosemary Hanson is in the process of contacting the state Department of Education and the school system's insurance carrier to see if they can get money for the repairs, which will be easier, Connelly said, now that President Obama has declared a disaster situation in Connecticut. 

The school situation sure looked like an emergency on Monday. 

The campus building, one of eight at the school, had water pouring through the roof Monday morning as Connelly and other school officials assessed the damage. Meanwhile, workers from a local tree service company cut the tree and limbs from trees around the buildings that looked like they might be in danger of falling.

Oxford Center School Principal Heath Hendershot said the damaged classrooms held two fifth-grade classes totaling about 50 pupils who will be moved to another campus building once school is back in session.

Connelly cancelled school for Tuesday and Wednesday as CL&P and local officials try to clean up from the damage. Part of the reason is because Quaker Farms School is being used as an emergency shelter for residents. Connelly said his decision has nothing to do with what occurred at Oxford Center School, which is for pupils in grades 3-to-5.

Connelly said all parents have been notifed of the situation via the CodeED school emergency notification system.  

Heidi November 01, 2011 at 12:20 AM
Anyone know if this is mr Bunces classroom? Looks like it to me
Paul Singley November 01, 2011 at 12:27 AM
Yeah, I think so. The desk said Mr. B
Amy Carlone Cote November 01, 2011 at 12:32 AM
I believe it is Bunce and Phipps According to my kids anyway based on looking at Paul's pictures.
Theresa Martell November 01, 2011 at 12:56 AM
It looks like Bunce and Prefontaine. They share the building
Heidi November 01, 2011 at 01:20 AM
It is...kids just looked at it and confirmed:(
Craig Zac November 01, 2011 at 11:47 AM
$100,000.00 slap some tar on the hole and put the ceiling tiles back up and call it a day.. $30.00 from Home Depot! lol J/K.. but 100K, seems like thats alot of money to fix it, unless it needs a whole new roof and structural work.Hopefully the town gets alot of bids.... what about insurance?
Paul Singley November 01, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Thanks, Mike M.
Bonnie November 01, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Mrs. Phipps is in the main building, she has the medical needs kids this year. My daughter is in her class, pretty sure that Mr. B and Pre are together. Mr. B was next to mrs. Phipps till this year. It's a sad shame to see this happen, I do think we need an addition to the main school because these pods are too dangerous. What if this happened while these kids were in school during a rain and wind storm? It worries me!!!!
B Miller November 01, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Before we rush to fix this building we should at least understand it's value. The "Campus" buildings are many, many years past their lifespan and I assume have a very low actual cash value. To invest over $100,000 into a building that has a value which is significantly lower, may not be the wisest choice. If the insurance company "totals" the builing, can we work with the them for a better solution?
xxxoxox November 01, 2011 at 04:22 PM
Bonnie brings up a good point. At a minimum, there should be a through evaluation of the site surrounding each building to determine if any other trees are weakened and may pose a future threat. Scary scenarios for parents with kids up there. To B. Miller's point, unfortunately we may be stuck with doing both as temporary as we are already stretched there and more significant long-term solution has not been identified by the school board.
Haversat November 01, 2011 at 06:59 PM
The campus building were constructed around 1956. They were expected to last approximately 30 years. When I was a student at Oxford Center there was talk about phasing the buildings out, of course that never happened. Over the years the campus buildings have been a financial drain on the town. Each building has its own heating system and septic. Over the course of a decade, Oxford has spent significant sums on a mold issue, a bat problem, hundreds of thousands on air handling systems to correct the mold, wiring, septic and other maintenance. I do believe the buildings are safe, they are built like tanks. If that was a wooden structure such as a modular classroom, the tree would have crushed it. The buildings continue to serve the needs, but from a financial standpoint they are not ideal.
Daniela Mineo November 01, 2011 at 11:20 PM
The campus building is Mr. Bunce and Mr. Pre. My twins are in Mr. Bunce's class. They are so upset about this.


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