Bath E.S. gym reopens after Irene

Published 10:23 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

(Submitted Photo)

More than one year after Hurricane Irene ripped away its roof, the Bath Elementary School gym has been renovated and reopened.
Representatives of Hite Associates from Greenville and Washington’s own WIMCO Corporation, both contractors on the project, were on hand to help turn the gymnasium keys over to Pam Hodges, Bath Elementary School principal, earlier this week.
At a recent meeting of the school board’s building/grounds and finance committee, Patrick Abele, executive director of auxiliary services, shared a few of the new gym’s features that would help it weather future severe storms. The new gym has no skylights. Its new roof may appear to be flat, but it is tapered in order to allow rainwater to move to the gutters.
Abele said he missed his goal of completing the project before the new school year.
“I think you’ve done a remarkable job in just over a year,” board member Mac Hodges told Abele. “I’m just surprised he’s got his hair.”
The completion of the renovations marks the end of Beaufort County Schools’ major Irene-related repairs.
The list included Chocowinity Middle School’s gym and a classroom building at Beaufort County Ed Tech Center.
“We’re relieved that we got that behind us,” said Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. “It was a tremendous effort for everyone involved.”
Bath Elementary is looking forward to a basketball season in its new gym and will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony when it starts.
The school had to use its multipurpose room for many of its activities and counted on other schools to host its home games and graduation.
“They improvised,” Phipps said. “That’s what we do in times of need.”