West works to clean up school

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By Don Pace

Classrooms at West Las Vegas Middle School are being cleaned after a sewage backup affected a large portion of the west wing of the school.

Superintendent Jim Abreu said classes would be held Monday, but the affected area will be undergoing a major cleanup for at least another three weeks by an Albuquerque company that specializes in cleaning flooded-out areas. He said students whose classrooms are in that area of the building would be moved to other classrooms at the school.

Abreu said everything that is salvageable such as desks, tables and book have been moved from the classrooms and hallways and everything that got wet is being tossed out.

Workers were busy Friday breaking down sheetrock from the walls, dismantling cabinets and hauling trash bags full of damaged material out of the building. Tile was also being removed from the floors and industrial blowers were drying out rooms.

Abreu said some staff members spoke with residents in the area of Independence Avenue, who were experiencing sewage backup in their homes and believes that the plugged sewage lines are the city’s responsibility. He said the school district’s insurance would pay for the work being done, but would ask the city’s insurance company to cover the damage if it was found to be its fault.

Abreu said first and foremost he is looking out for safety of students at the school.    

“We want everything to be safe for the kids,” Abreu said.

City spokeswoman Mercy Lopez said she would look into the matter before commenting.