Engineers wrapping up THS flood study

Engineers are nearing completion of a flood-prevention study at Thompson High School after the school’s weight and locker rooms flooded multiple times over the summer. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Shelby County School System officials are planning to meet with engineers in mid-September to discuss the findings of a flood-prevention study at Thompson High School after the school’s weight and locker rooms flooded multiple times over the summer.

Over the past several weeks, engineers have been studying the area near the school’s back parking lot to determine how to prevent flooding at the school during heavy rainfall.

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 school flooded over the summer, rain waters overwhelmed a flood drain near the school’s back parking lot and eventually flowed down an outdoor concrete staircase and into the basement 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.

During the first flooding incident, water reached more than 10 feet deep in the stairwell before bursting open a metal door leading into the weight room.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Tom Ferguson said although the most recent flood happened a few weeks before the first day of school, the weight and locker rooms were repaired and ready for use when students returned to class.

Ferguson said engineers have been studying possible modifications to the school property to help prevent similar floods in the future.

“It’s an ongoing process. The engineers are still looking at that area,” Ferguson said on Sept. 10. “We have scheduled a meeting with them so we can determine our options and pricing on that project.”