Students at NJ schools wrecked by Ida face another year of remote learning

CRESSKILL, New Jersey (WABC) -- A school in New Jersey that suffered incredible damage by the remnants of Hurricane Ida is faced with the possibility of another year of remote learning, leaving parents in the district pleading for help.

Superintendent Mr. Michael Burke detailed the millions of dollars in repairs needed at Cresskill High School and Cresskill Middle School, which had areas the campus underwater for over 30 hours.

He said all boilers, univents, and water pumps need to be repaired or replaced.

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The four boilers, which provide heat to the entire building, were extensively damaged, and Burke said any attempt to turn them on just to see if they work would pose a serious risk of triggering an explosion.

Approximately half of the univents need to have the controller replaced, and those that work need to have the parts extensively cleaned or replaced due to corrosion caused by water damage and toxins now embedded in the mechanical parts of each of the univents.

The water pumps were completely submerged in water for over 30 hours, and though they can be rebuilt rather than be replaced, they are unusable in their current state.


The cost of new boilers and univents is estimated to be between $5-6 million, and officials are exploring all possible options to acquire the financing.

Complete installation is possible by January, though obstacles and roadblocks remain.

As a possible backup option, the district is working to bring the St. Therese school building, which closed two years ago, up to code and furnished with desks and internet.

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If approved for use, officials are exploring a rotating half-day schedule for as many grades as possible in St. Therese.

They are also looking at modular classrooms for high school students to be placed in the parking lot at Cresskill MS/HS.

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