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Watchung Hills High Reimbursed for Nearly All Sandy Costs

Board Member Gerry Binder says payment received covers nearly all major damage caused by storm last fall.

Watchung Hills Regional HS sign. By Linda Sadlouskos
Watchung Hills Regional HS sign. By Linda Sadlouskos
The damage caused by Superstorm Sandy at Watchung Hills Regional High School was substantial. A wall was knocked down, roofs were blown off, there was damage to the auditorium and the destruction to a school gym added up to $500,000 in the storm's rampaging winds at the end of October 2012.

But the good news, as reported on Monday night by Watchung Hills School Board Member Gerry Binder, is that nearly all of the $1.4-million worth of damage will be covered by the school district's insurance coverage.

Binder told board members and the public that when all is said and done, the school district probably will be left with somewhere between $50,000 to $150,000 that has not been reimbursed.

"The insurance company stepped up," said Watchung Hills School Business Administrator Tim Stys. He said that the district received nearly all of the reimbursed cost of the damage from insurance payouts, and a very small amount from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Stys did note to the school board that the cost of insurance premiums have gone up 15 percent in the past year.

Binder also said he would like to acknowledge the school district employees who responded to the emergency at the high school during Sandy, even when some even were unsure whether they would have gas necessary to drive home in the gasoline shortage following the storm.

Since the school district cannot hand out bonuses, Binder said he would like to see those employees recognized with a plaque to be placed at the school.


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