VUSD replaced 800 feet of pipe beneath four buildings without losing any instruction time
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – A minor gas leak at Redwood High School last month led to a major infrastructure project for Visalia Unified School District (VUSD) over the winter break. But despite some construction debris, no one noticed and, more importantly, no instructional time was lost.
Robert Groeber, assistant superintendent of administrative services for VUSD, touted the project’s quick turnaround time during a review of the project at the Jan. 9 school board meeting. Groeber said students and staff at the high school reported the leak on Dec. 11. VUSD maintenance staff responded immediately and were able to identify the location of the leaks. While working to isolate the leaks, maintenance crews found that several underground gas lines were deteriorating and needed to be replaced.
The Gas Co. was called to shut off the gas to the business, music, science, weight room and ag buildings on Dec. 12. Groeber said portable heaters were used in the classrooms for the remaining three days of school before the winter break.
“At no time were students in any danger,” Groeber said.
The district contracted with Morris Levin & Sons for $97,182 to replace 800 feet of pipe, all of which was under concrete beneath the buildings. Goeber said Morris Levin & Sons began work on Dec. 18 and were able to tear out the concrete, replace the lines, backfill and compact 800 feet of trench lines and repair the concrete before Jan. 8, when students and staff returned to school.
“This was all done during the break and the school was back in operation and had heat when the kids returned,” Groeber said in an interview after the board meeting. “Other than new concrete, most people would never have known we were there.”