The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 23, 2013

$2M in flood insurance helps fund school repairs

— DANVILLE — School administrators plan to continue covering the Danville Middle School for $2 million, the maximum amount of flood insurance they are permitted.

“We’ve always insured, we’ve taken to the maximum,” said Cheryl Latorre, school district superintendent.

When the middle school was closed following the Tropical Storm Lee flood in September 2011, about half of that money went toward cleaning the building and eliminating mold, said district business manager Janis Venna. The other half was put toward upgrades to the then-closed Danville Elementary School so that it could be used as classroom space by the district’s seventh- and eighth-grade students. About 550 students were displaced by the closing of the middle school, with sixth-graders being taught in extra classrooms at the Danville Primary School.

Half of the $2 million in insurance comes from the school’s insurance carrier, and the other $1 million is gained through the national flood insurance program.

The district pays about $5,000 a year for the national flood insurance coverage, Latorre said. The middle school, located next to Mahoning Creek, is the only district building in a flood zone and is the only one covered by flood insurance.

The district does not have an exact amount paid for flood insurance because it all is lumped together in a package insurance deal, Venna said. That package costs roughly $53,000 a year and includes districtwide coverage for flood, fire, auto, property and general liability.

Flood insurance rates may change once the borough completes its flood control levee system, Latorre said.

“We will continue to take the maximum insurance until the levee system is complete,” at which point the district will revisit insurance coverage, she said.

The borough anticipates the levee project to be completed on Dec. 20.

The Danville Middle School is on track to open for the start of the 2013-14 school year, which begins Aug. 26. An open house and dedication for the renovated school will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 26.

About $10 million of the money used to repair and renovate the school has come from the federal and Pennsylvania emergency management agencies, which funded repairs made within the school’s original construction footprint. Federal money would have been greatly reduced if the district had opted to build a new school, Latorre said.

“There was no way feasibly we could have purchased new land and built a new school. … Not in this day and age when school districts are in such a financial crisis,” she said.

FEMA and PEMA officials have said they would fund future repairs to the school in the event of another flood.

New additions to the Danville Middle School include water resistant walls, receptacles placed higher than flood-water levels and vents around the perimeter of the building meant to equalize pressure in the event of flooding.

“We’re two years out almost. If this would happen again, I do think we are prepared,” Latorre said.

The district spent $1.5 million to $2 million of its own money on additional repairs and renovations not covered by the government. These include air-conditioning in the school’s auditorium and a wooden floor for the gymnasium, as well as additional lighting, wiring and paint for the undamaged second floor to match the renovated first floor.

Text Only
  • Porter Another teen says he threw rock on I-80, too

    MIFFLINBURG — The father of the third juvenile charged as an adult in a July 10 rock-throwing attack that left an Ohio woman fighting for her life was apologetic following his son’s arraignment Monday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim of rock-throwers making progress

    DANVILLE — Sharon Budd, the 52-year-old Ohio woman fighting for her life after being hit by a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass, is slowly coming around, according to her husband, Randy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Danville train diver left hospital 4 days before suicide

    DANVILLE — The young man who killed himself by diving under an Iron Heritage Festival passenger train underwent treatment in mental health facilities as recently as four days before his death, according to Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mayor's dog recovering from attack

    DANVILLE — Bernie and Red Swank have two different routes they take daily when they walk their dogs, and at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the 200 block of Water Street, a German shepherd attacked Lex, their white 5-year-old lhasa apso.

    July 21, 2014

  • Basic subsidy for Lewisburg schools down slightly

    LEWISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed executive budget will provide the Lewisburg Area School District with an additional $90,457 from the state, but most of the increase will be reflected in $125,275 to support a Ready to Learn grant.

    July 21, 2014

  • Shikellamy extend deadline for school project

    The Shikellamy District board agreed at a special meeting last Thursday, to extend until Sept. 5, the deadline for the receipt of bid documents for the $17 million Shikellamy Middle School project. Bids were originally scheduled to be opened Tuesday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Second juvenile charged as adult in rock-throwing incident

    MIFFLINBURG — A second juvenile was charged as an adult Monday morning for his alleged involvement a July 10 rock-throwing incident that left an Ohio woman fighting for her life.

    July 21, 2014

  • Midd-West to hire Snook's replacement tonight

    Newport School District’s director of educational services is slated to be hired tonight by the Midd-West School Board to fill the vacant director of curricular and instruction position.

    July 21, 2014

  • rgbcar20abw.jpg My 1st Car Photo Contest Winner

    Maxton Mielke, Sunbury, won the My 1st Car photo contest this week. Photos can be entered in this week's contest: Pet lookalike at Look for the Outshoot the Experts contest and submit your best photos! Photos can also be submitted on our facebook page or via Instagram and Twitter with #dipets.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence" against Russia

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 21, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.