The snow that blew through the Treasure Valley in the past week also blew through some school district’s snow-removal budgets. Costs are still being tallied, but here are some estimates so far:
West Ada School District: The district ran up an estimated bill of $200,000 to push snow out of the way through Jan. 10. That’s 10 times its $20,000 snow budget. Much of the cost goes for contracts for snow removal with six companies. The district has some snow-removal equipment of its own.
West Ada, the state’s largest school district, also spent $29,000 on snow melt; $2,300 in additional wages, largely for custodians to come in early and sprinkle de-icer; $6,500 in fuel for running snow equipment; and $1,500 for equipment repair. Total: $239,000. And that doesn’t include damage to buildings. Heritage Middle School, for example, suffered a pipe break and some flooding. Those bills have not arrived yet, and some of it could be covered by insurance.
Boise School District: Boise hired three contractors to remove snow at a cost of $15,000. The district usually provides its own snow removal, but was unable to keep up with the storm. Other early known costs are $1,900 in food that spoiled because kids weren’t in school to eat it, power outages or kitchen flooding. Damage to some 15 district buildings has yet to be tallied. The district anticipates it will file insurance for any cost exceeding the $2,000-per-instance deductible.
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Kuna School District: The estimate for snow removal is $17,000, including contracted work, ice melt and sand. That’s 5.5 times its $3,000 budgeted. Kuna also incurred flood damage of about $2,000 and increased employee costs of $11,000.
Vallivue School District: Vallivue suffered an estimated $20,000 in flood damage at Vallivue Middle and East Canyon Elementary schools. Much of the cost could be out of pocket, because of the district’s insurance deductible of $10,000 per instance, said Pat Charlton, superintendent.
A swath of schools across Southern Idaho reported damage from the storm, said Allan Ranstrom, senior vice president of Boise-based Moreton & Co., which insures most of the districts in Idaho. The company has received calls from 20 districts and the damage appears heaviest in the Treasure and Magic valleys, although the picture is still incomplete, Ranstrom said. Most of the reports are of freezing pipes and ice dams, he said.
Snow removal at CWI
College of Western Idaho spent $64,000 over nearly four days removing snow from the 143,000-square-foot Micron Center for Professional Technical Education Center. The snow piled up in early January, threatening to collapse the roof. The center is next to Wal Mart near the Idaho Ford Center. Crews removed about half the snow from the flat roof.
School make-up plans
Treasure Valley school districts are starting to figure out how to cram in all 990 hours of classroom time required by the state after schools were closed for several snow days.
West Ada said the Martin Luther King holiday Monday would become a school day, and will also hold school on Presidents Day, Feb. 20.
Kuna will hold classes on Martin Luther King Day and on April 28. It also will have full instruction days on what had been shortened Wednesdays.
Boise says it won’t need more days to meet the state requirement.
Nampa, closed eight snow days because, changed its calendar Friday:
▪ Move the end of first semester from Jan. 20 to Jan. 27. Families will receive more info about exams.
▪ Change Jan. 19 and 20 to full days instead of early-release days.
▪ Add April 11 as a full instruction day for seniors. (This is SAT day at the high schools, so seniors and juniors will attend that day; sophomores and freshmen do not. It is a school day for K-8.)
▪ Add May 22 as a full instruction day for seniors.
▪ If needed, change June 1 and 2 to full days instead of early-release days.