More questions than answers for Helena Intermediate

Published 4:25 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

School board officials still don’t know exactly who is going to pay for the recent sewage clean-up at Helena Intermediate School, said Shelby County Schools spokesperson Cindy Warner.

“It is still being determined who will ultimately be responsible for paying for the clean-up,” she said in an e-mail.

The final cost of the clean-up will be from $150,000 to $200,000, Warner said.

Also, school officials are still unsure how students will make up the lost class days.

“We have asked the State Department for some guidance on developing a plan to make up the lost instructional days, but we have not finalized that plan yet,” Warner said.

The city has installed a catch valve to ensure sewage cannot get backed up into the school again.

Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale said he had no comment on if the city will help to pay for the clean-up.

On the night of Oct. 7, sewage flooded 60,000 square feet out of the school’s total 160,000 when a city pumping station located next to the school shut down, causing sewage to back up in the school’s drains and pipes.

Students were out of school until Oct. 15 after the school’s cafeteria required repeated cleanings before passing environmental tests.