School board assesses damage

Published 4:02 pm Monday, April 30, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County school officials knew that hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina hit schools hard.
Until they tallied all the numbers recently, they didn't realize quite how much.
Despite reimbursements for damage from both insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the storms cost the school district $483,665, Escambia County Schools financial officer Julie Madden told the school board Thursday. That money came out of the school district's reserve funds.
Part of the problem, Madden said, is that insurance did not reimburse the full cost of, for example, roofs that had depreciated in value.
The state superintendents association asked the school district to provide the figures.
Superintendent Billy Hines said the storms cost everyone in the community. The total cost of damage to the school system was $3.4 million for all three storms.
Hurricane costs to local school districts have been in the news recently as Mobile County officials pointed out that Bayou la Batre Elementary School still has not received state funding to replace major damage caused by Katrina - despite Gov. Bob Riley's promise in the days after the storm that the school would receive funding to rebuild.
Some state legislators recently argued over money that went to Enterprise High School to rebuild after a tornado that ripped through the school and claimed the lives of eight students.
In other business Thursday:

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