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Winter storm damage tally in Austin (Texas) district: 90 schools, $15 million

Feb. 25, 2021
Damage includes broken water and supply lines, downed HVAC systems, and flooding from adjacent properties that spilled into schools.

After four days of walk-through inspections and assessments, officials in the Austin (Texas) Independent School District say 90 of its 130 schools sustained damage in the historic winter storms that wreaked havoc last week in the region.

KXAN-TV reports that damage to district facilities is estimated at $15 million.

Matias Segura, operations manager for the Austin district, says buildings experienced everything from broken water and supply lines, downed HVAC systems and flooding that started in adjacent, unrelated properties that spilled into the schools.

Segura says despite the storm damage, the vast majority of schools will be able to receive students beginning March 1, when in-person learning is set to resume.

The schools hit the hardest were Kocurek Elementary School, Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Academy, Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy and Bowie High School, Segura said. The recommendations for what to do about those facilities is still being determined.

“Our commitment is to make sure that our facilities are warm, safe and dry," Segura says."That is absolutely critical. We will not open a space up until its 100% ready to go."

Repairs have already begun, using money tied to the district’s general fund. Administrators expect the district will be reimbursed by either insurance or the Federal Emergency Management Agency at a later date.

Most schools will be open for students Monday, but in some schools, wings that sustained damage may be locked down for student and staff safety.

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