(Beaver Dam) The Superintendent of the Beaver Dam School District says the structural integrity of the middle school was not compromised when a car smashed into the building while running from police Wednesday night. Mark DiStefano told us Thursday on WBEV’s Community Comment that the damage is substantial but fortunately the preliminary analysis indicates that the structure was not jeopardized. The vehicle punched a hole in a one-story portion of the building. Had the incident occurred on a load-bearing wall for the second and third floors, there would be much more concern for larger scale structural damage. DiStefano notes that the building still needs to be assessed by professionals.
The transformer that was obliterated by the Dodge Dart feeds electricity to 40-percent of the school but should be replaced before school starts. Smoke damage is also an issue because the crash damaged the dust collection system for the technical education program, creating a large open duct to the upper floors of the building. As a result, smoke traveled from the fire outside into the tech ed area and beyond.
“There are more smoke filters and fans in the building that you can imagine,” he says.
The main gym sustained water damage from firefighting efforts and will have to be replaced. Fortunately, DiStefano says the buckling of the court is minor, but the surface is not even. The plan is to repair the basketball court this fall but the gym is expected to be used for physical education classes until that time.
Damage is estimated at $100-thousand dollars and DiStefano is “optimistic” that the first day of school on September 3rd will not be affected. There is a $5000 deductible but beyond that insurance is expected to cover the rest.
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