Standard School District's school year isn't starting out so smoothly.
Crews have been busy this week dealing with the aftermath of a water heater explosion Aug. 24 that dumped 800-plus gallons of water throughout the district office.
Two to 3 inches of water flooded the building, ruining carpets and walls, data cables and even several classroom Netbook computers that were delivered hours before the explosion, Superintendent Kevin Silberberg said.
About 60 fans and several humidifiers were brought in to air out the moisture. District staff -- who manage everything from attendance to school data -- have been displaced from their work stations and are working out of makeshift office stations in the Standard boardroom.
"Productivity has gone down," Silberberg said. "But the ship isn't sinking."
The district's insurance is expected to cover most of the cost of damage to the 15-year-old building -- Standard district has a deductible of $5,000. The carpet will need to be replaced. Destroyed were two high-end copy machines and six Netbooks out of a classroom set that was delivered that Friday and placed on the floor.
The flood came just a week after officials at the Oildale-area district had to deal with another unwelcome surprise.
The week before the new school year kicked off, three transformers at Highland Elementary School blew, shutting down power to the campus and the neighboring area on Aug. 16 and 17. Three agencies worked for dozens of hours digging new lines and installing new transformers to restore power to the 800-student campus.
"Bottom line was when the kids came on Monday, nobody knew the difference," Silberberg said.
School officials are hoping the flood was the end of the bad surprises this school year.
"We're praying Labor Day weekend is a non-event," Silberberg said.
-- Jorge Barrientos, Californian staff