Wednesday, October 5, 2022

York County supes approve initial insurance appropriation for Grafton Complex repairs

The Grafton Middle and High School complex. (WYDaily file/Courtesy York County School Division)
The Grafton Middle and High School complex. (WYDaily file/Courtesy York County School Division)

The York County Board of Supervisors approved the first insurance appropriation for the Grafton Complex repairs during a meeting on Tuesday.

The initial insurance appropriation is $1.2 million to fund repairs caused by a fire in February.

While York County School Division expects to be reimbursed from its insurance carrier for the costs, it has asked the county to appropriate an initial estimate of costs for the event, according to county documents.

County Administrator Neil Morgan said this was the first of what will probably be three different insurance appropriation actions.

“As everyone is well aware, the school system is urgently moving forward as quickly as they can to move the complex back into operation,” Morgan said. “We’ve been receiving various kinds of updates. It’s a big deal, it’s a big project.”

Morgan said as different details about the project emerge during the work, the school system needs to know they are lawfully ordering items with proper accounting in place and the initial appropriation is the first step in ensuring that.

He added the insurance companies representing the interested parties would take the lead in sorting out what and how much would be covered.

“You can imagine how complicated it is,” he said. “There are manufacturers, there are installers, there are designers and so all of that is a work in progress.”

There are parts of the process that are more straightforward than others, he said.

For example, the electrical switchgear that was damaged in the fire couldn’t be removed from its location until insurance investigators had time to inspect the equipment. Once it was removed from its original location, it was discovered that there was additional damage to the switchgear and it would have to be reconstructed, according to county documents.

RELATED STORY: Grafton fire update: York County Schools have finalized sked for the rest of the year

Morgan said there are also components of the structure that appear fine but might actually have further issues. The electrical cables that were installed at the complex over the summer might seem to appear fine, but the damage from the fire might have reduced their lifetime.

Morgan said insurance adjusters and experts would have to come and analyze the damage further.

“So what the schools are trying to do is stay on the path of getting everything done and open as fast as possible while documenting all of these questions and getting to the right answer,” he said. 

Morgan said the best course of action would be to set up what he termed a “straw” account where the ultimate source of the funds would be insurance proceeds. He said the project would use school or county funds to pay any bills currently and then the county would be repaid as some of the insurance money comes in.

He added that there will likely be more appropriations necessary over many months as further costs associated with the fire are determined.

RELATED STORY: There was an electrical fire at Grafton School Complex

Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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