The Telegram
  • Months later, flood repairs continue at Owen D. Young

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  • It’s been months since summer flooding caused about $2 million in damage to Owen D. Young Central School District, and yet repairs continue.
    The district received some relief last week, and not from the state or federal government, but from Walmart.
    “We have been very fortunate to receive several donations from community members and corporations,” said Superintendent James Picolla. “They are being used to offset the unplanned expenses for the flood repairs so we can be sure our students have the tools they need to learn.”
    The school was selected to receive $1,000 from Walmart’s Johnstown transportation office as part of an annual Walmart Foundation fundraiser.
    For every accident-free mile private fleet truck drivers at the Johnstown office traveled from Aug. 10 to 16, the foundation donated one cent, according to a news release.
    The money was specifically donated for flood relief, Picolla said.
    Damage to the school included flooding to the first floor, a 15-foot by 20-foot corner of the foundation was washed away underneath the gymnasium, erosion of the property along the stream bank and heavy erosion to the soccer field and leech system under it.
    “Repairs are progressing as scheduled,” Picolla said.
    The stream reconstruction has been completed and the stream bank reinforced with stacked and pinned stones.
    All utility work also has been completed, as well as cleanup and mold mitigation.
    Within two weeks the gym floor will be completed and open for the students to use, Picolla said.
    The district is going out to bid for the final phase of the project that will include resurfacing the athletic fields, restacking the retaining wall, replacing fencing along the stream, replacing the bridge to the nature trails and replanting trees.
    As for funding, the district soon will receive the first payment from its insurance company, and Federal Emergency Management Agency applications are being completed, Picolla said.
    “We do not expect to receive much relief until mid 2014 and then continuing over the next year as our applications are processed, he said. “In the end, it could take up to two years before we settle all of our potential insurance, FEMA and state education claims. In the meantime, the district has taken out a bond to fund the project.”
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