In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents and officials throughout the region are looking to take stock of damages and necessary repairs, and the Toms River Regional School District is no different — as several of its facilities were impacted in the storm.
“In terms of damages, the bubble at Intermediate East is down. Many roof shingles are off at Citta Elementary School, a skylight was taken out at High School East and Silver Bay Elementary School, and we have minor coping, fascia and soffit damage at several schools,” said Bill Doering, Business Administrator for the district’s Board of Education.
Doering continued that the school district’s insurance adjuster has already been out to survey the damages, and that quotes and timelines for the repair work are currently being determined.
“We will be able to do some repairs with our in-house staff,” added Doering.
The Toms River district responded quickly to the devastation of Sandy by immediately opening both Toms River High School East and Toms River High School North as disaster relief shelters for displaced residents. The shelters provided warm meals, clean clothes and a roof for those who found themselves suddenly with a home, and were staffed by volunteers, district personnel, plus workers from the Office of Emergency Management and Community Emergency Response Teams.
The shelter at High School North began to be disassembled last Wednesday and evacuees were then transported to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, where a series of tents had been set up to house them for a minimum of two weeks. Simultaneously, the local Office of Emergency Management is working to obtain more permanent housing for those who have been living in shelters since the storm hit.
“We are committed to continuing to help the people who have suffered so much from this disaster, and we are also working diligently to do all we can to have our schools open up and running as soon as possible,” said Roselli, in a statement on the district’s website. “Thank you so much to all the district employees, students and staff members and families of the Toms River Regional Schools who have been so generous with their time and resources during this crisis.”
Many schools in the district experienced losses of electricity, heat, telephone communication and computer use due to the hurricane. Addtionally, due to numerous concerns in regards to safety and transportation on still-battered local roads, the school district was closed for operations this week, and seeks to be re-opened on Monday, Nov. 12.
Though, the superintendent said that there are “no guarantees” as to when the entire school district would be back up and running at full capacity.