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Middle school to reopen Friday

November 17, 1999|By DON AINES

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Six hundred James Buchanan Middle School students will soon be back in familiar surroundings now that repairs have been completed from the bursting of a steam pipe expansion joint early this month.

"We're going to reopen Friday morning. We're dismissing the high school and middle school at 1 p.m. Thursday," Tuscarora Schools Superintendent William Konzal said Wednesday. The early dismissal today will allow time to transfer teaching materials back to the middle school, he said.

Friday will be a full day for the middle school students, who have been split up since the joint burst and damaged eight classrooms and support areas in the hours before school was to have started on Monday, Nov. 1.

The steam caused ceiling tiles to become soggy, the plastic covers on light fixtures to melt and floor tiles to warp and crack. Additionally, it exposed asbestos in the floor tiles, requiring immediate remediation.

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While the repairs have been under way, eighth-graders have attended classes at James Buchanan High School, seventh-graders have gone to Mercersburg Academy and sixth-graders to First United Methodist Church, Konzal said.

Because of the asbestos, the floor tiles proved to be the most serious problem, Konzal said. The district paid to have the tiles removed, he said.

Konzal said a recent air quality test for asbestos was negative.

The final cost of all the repairs has not been determined, but could surpass $30,000, he said. "We're still working with the insurance company on that."

The school's insurance policy has a $10,000 deductible, he said.

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