Flood-hit Wellingborough school left with £250,000 worth of damage may have to shut for six months
All Saints Primary School was hit by flood water caused by a month's worth of rain falling in one hour
The headteacher of a Wellingborough school has been told that damage caused by floods sweeping through the building is likely to be around £250,000 and may close the school for six months.
All Saints CEVA Primary and Nursery School's lower floor was submerged by the water that pooled knee-high on the playground from the roads above and then forced its way through the doors through the assembly hall, corridors, toilets and into learning spaces.
The school's nursery, Reception and Year 1 classrooms have been left out of action because of the volume of contaminated water that swept through the ground floor soaking into carpets, walls and floorboards.
Most of the school's toilets will also be out of use leaving just three cubicles for 150 children as the ground floor toilets that were under construction have also been damaged.
Emma Johnson, headteacher, said: "The worst case scenario is that we will not be able to open at all.
"The people from Chem-Dry [flood damage experts] have said it would be six months and it's likely to cost £250,000. Until we have the visit from the major loss adjuster we won't know.
"Once we have an indication from the loss adjuster we'll know where we go next."
Flooding has affected the whole of the ground floor including the school assembly hall, and even though one classroom managed to escape any water damage, it still cannot be accessed due to adjoining areas being affected.
The lower playground will have to be decontaminated and will be out of bounds while the back playground might be used for temporary buildings leaving children with no space for PE.
Mrs Johnson said: "I think there is an issue with the drains. There was an unprecedented amount of rain but the drains played a part."
Mrs Johnson hopes that mobile classrooms with integral toilet facilities might be craned into the back playground for two of the classes with temporary portable toilets for the older children.
The 20 nursery children due to start in September may be able to use All Saints Church Hall.
She said: "My worry is that if we can't get a mobile classroom in the space what will happen to our Reception and Year 1. Where in the past other schools may be able to help out, with Covid-19 that's just not possible, they don't have the space.
"I've got to be optimistic. I hope that we can open to Years 2 to 6 in a fortnight's time. I'm not so optimistic about Early Years and Year 1.
"It's not an ideal start for our Reception children. They haven't had an induction day and now they're being faced with this situation.
"I've been in education for 32 years. To be faced with this on top of Covid is a massive challenge.
"You can't just pop children into any building nearby. There have to be risk assessments for other things like Legionella because places have been shut for so long."
Residents from the surrounding area helped bail out the classrooms working alongside teachers and their families and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Crews remained on site for two hours pumping water from the Year 1 classroom that had water 15cm deep throughout.
Mrs Johnson said: "The fire brigade were really good. I think they helped lessen the damage because they got here so quickly.
"Around 40 people arrived to help - teachers, teenagers. The community really pulled together. Some had no connection to the school and just came down and asked what they could do after they saw the fire engine.
"I would like to thank the local community for their help."
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