COLUMBIA CITY â€” In Monday nightâ€™s WCCS School Board meeting, board members listened to Tony Zickgrafâ€™s explanation of plans to conduct a storm sewer study.
By hiring DLZ, Inc., out of South Bend, results are expected to be threefold: (1) measure outlets, inlets, manhole elevations, and hydraulic systems; (2) determine what capacity the system could handle in a 10-, 20-, 50-, or even 100-year â€śrain event;â€ť and (3) provide up to three suggestions for improvement.
Cost of the study is quoted at $18,500. The fact of Juneâ€™s flood recovery costing $466,000 was enough for some to agree to have the study conducted. Others on the board, however, objected to spending yet more money on a facility whose future is uncertain. Tim Bloom echoed the comments regarding the number of dollars spent on the high school but pointed out, they â€śhave an obligation to the employees and students that they have a safe and functional environmentâ€ť in which to work and learn.
Zickgraf further defended his recommendation to pursue the studyâ€™s findings because, â€śit could rain tomorrow.â€ť The question was asked, where would we put a thousand studentsâ€”tomorrowâ€”for a month until the high school is fixed after a flood?
Lady Luck has spared Columbia City High School students during any rain events when the storm sewers backed up and flooded school property. However, the lady doesnâ€™t smile fondly forever. The board agreed to hire DLZ, Inc., and conduct the study, hoping to learn the best solution for the safety and well-being of the staff and students.