Southside High School Deals With More Water Damage Following Weekend Storms

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Southside High School is damaged by flooding for the second time in less than two weeks. Six classrooms were damaged by the storms over the weekend (Aug. 6). The building is getting a new roof, and that is what's been causing problems whenever it rains.

"It's our intent that the repairs and the damage have minimal impact to our taxpayers because that was not part of the planned project," said chief operating officer Terry Morawski, Fort Smith Public Schools.

Morawski said they are working with the roofing contractor's insurance company to cover the cost of repairs. Nearly two dozen classrooms were damaged by a leak in the roof on July 27.

"We made sure to get those spots sealed and covered as much as possible and basically double overdoing the covering as much as possible," Morawski said.

This time around, he said a clogged drain built up water, which put extra stress on the roof. Water damaged six classrooms primarily on the second level and brought a second round of leaks to the library.

"The event this weekend was again was much less impact than before because we had made the preparations and kinda knew what was coming," Morawski said.

Southside school officials hope classes will resume as normal next Tuesday (Aug. 15).

"Their goal and what we continue to talk about is to have the rooms ready for the first day of school," Morawski said.

Just in case the rooms aren't ready, the school is working on a plan so students can work in other areas of the building.

"The campus is working on that plan right now, so that'll be in place if it's needed, but our hope is that it won't be needed," Morawski explained.

He added the crews are working around the clock to get everything cleaned up.  Since books and electronics in the library were damaged, it could be a couple weeks before students can use the library again.

The district is still assessing the total cost of all the damage.