Rain led to flooding at Ferry Street School

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Beginning this week, The Niles Community Deveopment Committee will be advertising for a director to head their new program at the Ferry Street School located at 620 Ferry St. in Niles.
According to Tim Batton, executive director of the committee, the school will become a resource center for the 5th Street neighborhood which includes Sycamore to Wayne and 5th to 10th streets.
At present the school is used as a step back in history for third grade students who can experience what class was like in a one-room school house in days of old.
Thanks to many volunteers and the support of the Niles community, the old school house has been refurbished to replicate the original school that was housed there. However, gas-fired forced air heating has been added along with indoor plumbing.
It is the plumbing that was tested by the recent warm weather and accompanying rain. The basement flooded.
A fairly large hole developed in the roof which caused a leak in the ceiling over the bathroom. The water loosened portions of the ceiling, dripping onto the cement floor of the bathroom. A metal drain that had been added to the floor in earlier years and may have been connected to a dry well, now simply opens into the basement. The water flowed through the drain, emptying into the basement and caused the flooding.
Batton was hard at work with a pumping system trying to get the water channeled up the basement stairs and out onto the back lawn.
According to him, a few small items were stored in the basement but nothing valuable was damaged.
The school has already been slated for updating and repairs in preparation for the switch from educational showcase to neighborhood center. The clean up from the flooding will be added to the list of repairs which will be completed before the May re-opening.
The resource center is not intended to replace or interfere with the one-room school, which will still be used as an educational tool as long as funding for both projects is maintained.
Any persons wishing to help with either the one-room school, or the neighborhood project can call Tim Batton at (269) 683-5699 to volunteer.