Special meeting called in Tuscaloosa over flooded school safety concerns

Special meeting called in Tuscaloosa over flooded school safety concerns

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - An emergency meeting in Tuscaloosa was called Friday about Northridge High School flooded earlier this week.

Crews working at Northridge High School since it flooded Tuesday met with teachers to keep them in the loop about the repair process.

Tuscaloosa City School board members said their biggest priority is the safety of students and school staff.

"Some children maybe asthmatic, some may have other issues and we don't want any child to be sick because of you know the situation busted pipes," said Matthew Wilson, a Tuscaloosa City School board member.

A pipe and two sprinklers burst at Northridge High school flooding 12 classrooms, the gym, and auditorium.

On top of the physical appearance, board members wanted to know what internal problems the water could cause.

"The major concern they were worried about was mold," said Jeff Johnson, Executive director of facilities.

Although the freezing temperatures are partly at fault for the flooding, Johnson said the cold weather also saved the building.

Officials said wet insulation and wet ceiling tiles were removed to help stop mold from forming.

However, school board members worry the job might be rushed and they don't want to risk having students back in the building too soon.

"Looking at start times based on the situation that even happened at one of our high school's very important," said Wilson.

Johnson said crews are pulling 17 hour shifts to have the school ready in time for the spring semester.

"We're doing it for the kids and the staff," said Wilson.

Crews have also checked out pipes and sprinklers at other schools.

In the meeting Friday, the board decided not to change the school start time. As of now, students will still be expected back Monday.

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