THS could get flood-resistant upgrades

Published 9:59 am Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shelby County Schools officials are looking at possible flood-resistant upgrades at Thompson High School, after the school's weight and locker rooms flooded three times in July. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Shelby County Board of Education is considering drainage and flood-prevention upgrades at Thompson High School after heavy rains flooded the school’s basement weight and locker rooms three times in less than a month.

Between July 9-31, the weight and locker rooms, which are located on the northwest corner of the school, flooded three times. Each time the facility flooded, Alabaster received several inches of rainfall in just a few hours.

Each time the facility flooded, the amount of water overwhelmed storm drains near the school’s back parking lot and forced water to run down a set of outdoor concrete stairs leading to the weight and locker rooms.

The flooding incidents damaged carpet, equipment and teachers’ materials in the facility, which was undergoing a student-led renovation when the first flood occurred.

Shelby County Schools Assistant Superintendent said the flooding incidents prompted the district to consider modifications to the area around the facility to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“We have had a meeting with a civil engineer to look at possible modifications,” Ferguson said. “A lot of that (flooding) had to do with the amount of rain we received in a short amount of time.”

The damage to the weight and locker rooms was covered under the school district’s insurance policy, and school officials are working to replace equipment damaged by the floods, Ferguson said previously.

“We want to take a look at that area and see if there are any modifications we can make,” Ferguson said, noting the district is awaiting the results of the civil engineering report before moving forward on the matter.

The heavier-than-normal July rains also flooded several parts of Alabaster and its surrounding cities multiple times, as storms dumped as many as 6 inches of rain on Shelby County in just a few hours.