The Woodward News

Local News

July 3, 2014

Restoration underway at school

Woodward, Okla. — The Woodward School Board met in a special meeting Wednesday to declare an emergency regarding the need for continued efforts to restore Woodward Middle School north campus after a weekend fire gutted the electrical system and destroyed the roof covering much of the school building.

Meanwhile, three blocks south of the Board of Education building, flecks of fiberglass hovered in the air as masked workers with TRC Disaster Solutions toiled inside the fire wrecked north campus of Woodward Middle School.

The process to restore the school to a condition that would allow its use could take several weeks, said TRC foreman Norman Hughes, who has been with the company for more than four years.

TRC Disaster Solutions is a Tulsa based company that has been instrumental in catastrophic disaster recoveries throughout the nation such as Hurricane Hugo and many others, said Hughes.

"The process is long," Hughes said, in a good natured tone. He stood in the smoky remains of the school hallway as a virtual army of workers cleaned, swept, removed insulation and installed ventilation systems. "People are usually really glad to see us come, but because the process can be so long, they are glad to see us go too."

The company and its workers have been slogging through the smoke and fire damaged school since Saturday.

TRC arrived early in the afternoon just after the school's insurance provider summoned them to an early morning fire, likely caused by a lightning strike to the main, ground level transformer, said Woodward Interim Superintendent, Kyle Reynolds..

The fire caused the eviction of temporary tenants in the portion of the school that has not been in use of late, the Woodward County Extension Service. And the disaster threatens to cause some wrinkles for administrators trying to provide classroom space this fall when school begins again in an already burgeoning school building, Reynolds said.

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