Weatherford Democrat

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December 20, 2013

School’s band hall strikes happier tune after floods

Some parents remain frustrated over district’s handling of issue

By SALLY SEXTON

The Hall Middle School band hall has a new, improved look after construction following two flooding incidents in September and December.

The first incident of water damage occurred Sept. 23, as a result of age and rust of an HVAC hot water coil, which was replaced.

After repairs, students were back in class practicing for about a month before a second event occurred Dec. 2, this time flooding caused by a faulty HVAC controller. On Dec. 2 and 3, Rich Bahner, Hall band director, identified instruments that were damaged, and the instruments were taken to Johnny Paul’s music to be assessed for possible repairs, according to a letter sent out to parents and staff by WISD assistant superintendent of business and operations Tracy Ray.

“We received a report from [Johnny Paul’s music] late Friday afternoon, with a recommendation of what to replace and what to repair,” Ray said.

In total, 88 instruments were damaged during the incidents. Ray said the district will submit the report for insurance reimbursement. In the meantime, students are practicing in different classrooms and band directors are working together to possibly distribute instruments from other campuses that are not being used.

“We’ve also been in contact with several area school districts to see if they have anything they can loan us in the interim time,” Ray said. “We’re hoping to get our repair order out this week and perhaps get that filled during the holidays.”

In the last several weeks, parents voiced their concerns over the incidents and how it impacted students.

“I’m very concerned with how the district is handling their maintenancs issues,” said one parent, who declined to be named. “It is ridiculous. Christmas is coming up, we probably won’t have a Christmas concert, our eighth graders aren’t being properly prepared for high school band, etc.”

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