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Lincoln school completes cleanup
July 21, 2011 Jerry Purvis   
Groundwater damage caused by the rising North Platte River has been cleaned up at Lincoln Elementary School’s temporary building.

Gering Schools is currently renting the former Aurora Loan Services buildings from the City of Scottsbluff while a new Lincoln building is going up in Gering.

The east building is being used for cafeteria, gymnasium, computer lab and library, and preschool. The west building is being used for classroom space in grades K-6.

With the rising river, groundwater seeped into the basement of the west building, where fifth and sixth grades had been.

“We had a lot of additional space in the east building,” said Gering School Superintendent Don Hague. “We relocated the music area, built additional classroom space and moved the fifth and sixth grades.”

The groundwater problem in the west building has since subsided, but Gering had to take out the sheetrock and carpeting, which could have caused mold problems. Scottsbluff, the building’s owner, plans to seal off the basement and build an exterior door so it will only be used as a basement in the future.

The Scottsbluff City Council had earlier agreed to waive Gering’s rent for June, July and August given that Gering Schools had already done renovation work on the building.

Starting this fall, grades K-4 will be located on the ground level of the west building. Grades five and six, along with the preschool, will be in the east building.

When Scottsbluff was remodeling its middle school building, students attended at Aurora. Hague said Gering had the luxury of moving students because about 350 students attend Lincoln, while Scottsbluff Middle School had an enrollment of about 600 when they were in the building.

“We were fortunate in having that extra space available,” Hague said. “It gave us some options when the basement was water damaged.”

Hague said construction on the new Lincoln building, at its former site, is still on schedule. “The foundation work is almost done and blocks for the walls of the gymnasium are going up now. Considering the weather we had to deal with in June, it’s progressing well.”

He said the original target date for completion was June 2012, but that may be backed up to July. However, the goal is for school to start in the new building in the fall of 2012.

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