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Nicolet High School cleans up, assesses flood damage

July 29, 2010

Now that Nicolet High School in Glendale has dried out, workers will begin gutting ruined property and installing a new gym floor in the coming weeks after last week's storms damaged 80% of the building, Superintendent Rick Monroe said Wednesday.

During what Monroe called the "assessment and demolition phase," workers cut two small sections out of the gym floor, revealing about a half-inch of standing water on the gym's subfloor.

"Even though it looked dry to the naked eye  . . .  the decision was made that we have to replace the gym floor," Monroe said.

With more than three weeks needed for installation, the new floor will not be ready in time for most fall sports' preseasons, which were scheduled to start in about two weeks, but should be ready by the first day of school. The school's athletic director is working with area school districts, such as Brown Deer, to relocate practices until the floor is ready, Monroe said.

But the gym floor isn't the only thing that's being tossed out.

All of the drama department's props and costumes, including furniture from the 19th and early 20th century, were submerged in about six feet of water and must be thrown out because of exposure to contaminated water, Monroe said.

"Health and safety are our number one priority," Monroe said. "If anything got wet, and if we're not 100% sure it can be cleaned and sanitized, then we're getting rid of it."

Adding to the list of damages, two major boilers in the basement will be replaced. Monroe said they will be among the big-ticket items, ringing up at $160,000 each, that the school will have to purchase.

Since drying, much of the tile on the school's first floor started to buckle, often having a domino effect. That will require large areas to be replaced, he said.

The number of people working on the building will increase from 80 to about 130 and will be split into a day shift and a night shift to ensure people are working around the clock, Monroe said.

"This has been so well orchestrated, it's actually been a pleasure to be a part of the process," Monroe said. "Obviously it's unfortunate it happened, but everyone has been flawless and exemplary."

Nicolet's administrative staff has relocated to a couple of computer labs at nearby Cardinal Stritch University, where they now have access to their servers and phone lines.

Fall registration has been rescheduled to Aug. 24 instead of Aug. 18, Monroe said. He said school will open as scheduled Sept. 1.

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