Sevier Middle roof repairs set to be completed this fall

LEAKS NO MORE? Roofers work on repairing the leaky roof at Sevier Middle School. KCS is spending nearly $600,000 to end years of water damage at Sevier.

ISABELLA WILKINSON

LEAKS NO MORE? Roofers work on repairing the leaky roof at Sevier Middle School. KCS is spending nearly $600,000 to end years of water damage at Sevier.

The red and black buckets covering the floor at Sevier Middle School may look like a way to show school spirit, but they are actually hiding “Sevier” weather: it has been raining inside the school.

For several years now, the roof at Sevier Middle School has been leaking. Many students and teachers are frustrated with these roof leaks.

Sevier’s principal, Holly Flora, said the leaks will be fixed soon, but many people think that they are just getting worse.

“I think they need to be fixed and they’re gross,” said Sally Chikomb, an 8th grade student at Sevier.

The students of Sevier are getting annoyed with all the leaks during the school day. Most of the school being blocked off by caution tape and buckets makes it hard to get to class.

“I can’t get to all my classes sometimes,” Destiny Ford said. Ford is a 6th grade student at Sevier Middle School.

The teachers don’t like the leaks, either.

“It’s definitely an inconvenience and with all the previous work being done, it should be fixed soon,” Tony Weaver said. Weaver is a 6th grade social studies teacher at Sevier.

Like many teachers, Flora is concerned about the safety issues, as well.

“I sometimes worry that the students or staff might trip over a bucket,” she said.

Sevier’s custodians have been on the front lines of the fight against these leaks, and they, too are concerned.

“I think it is way over due for repairs,” head custodian Rodney Duncan said. “It’s not a safe environment to have a bucket sitting on a teacher’s desk or student’s desk while trying to have class.”

The leaks have also caused a longer work day for the Sevier custodians.

“We have had to empty buckets and dehumidifiers daily, vacuum up water and clean the carpet when the leaking stops,” Duncan said.

Although Sevier is having some issues with leaky roofs, they don’t affect most classrooms. Only four classrooms sat Sevier actually have leaks. Most leaks are located in the hallways.

Buckets aren’t the only problem caused by the leaks.

“It stinks. My room smells musty and I have to run a dehumidifier, which is loud,” Rachael Wagner, an 8th grade teacher at Sevier, said.

Wagner’s room is located on the second floor near the gym staircase. The hallway outside of her room is covered in humidifiers, buckets and peeling paint.

The teachers at Sevier think there are other problems other than just the safety.

“I don’t see it as a problem for the classroom, just the appearance and humidity,” Kristin Duncan said. Duncan is a 6th grade teacher at Sevier Middle. “We try to make sure all classrooms are safe as possible.”

According to Flora, Kingsport City has fully funded roof repairs at a cost of $598,416. The repairs are currently underway and should be done no later than October 23.

Flora feels confident the school roof will be fixed soon.

“I have had several meetings with the roofers and they assure me that there will be very little effects to students and staff,” she said. “The parking lot will not be blocked off. They will use the grass beside the track as a staging area and will also store materials on the roof.”

The parts of the repairs that will create the most noise were done while Kingsport City Schools was on fall break.

“The roofers are being very sensitive to the fact that learning is taking place and have said that we should not be disrupted by the process,” Flora said.

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