The Wake County school board approved contracts Tuesday to repair and reopen the campus of the flood-damaged Vernon Malone College and Career Academy in Raleigh.
The main building at Vernon Malone on 2200 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh was damaged the weekend of Oct. 8-9 from flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. Students have been back in class since Oct. 19, but they’ve been dispersed to four different sites around the county until the main building can be reopened.
Joe Desormeaux, assistant superintendent for facilities, said he hopes to have students and staff back in the building by January.
The total cost of the repairs isn’t known at this time, but insurance is expected to cover much of the cost, according to Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman. She said Wake has to pay a $50.000 insurance deductible but may be able to get FEMA funding to cover that amount.
The board approved an Oct. 13 emergency contract issued by staff to Belfor USA Group, Inc. to do demolition and drying work at Vernon Malone. The board also approved an Oct. 24 contract issued to Belfor to restore the main building so it can be reoccupied by students and staff.
Once the building is reoccupied, Desormeaux said another contract will be issued to do finishing work.
The school board also approved a contract Tuesday to pay up to $250,000 to Academy Bus LLC to provide shuttle bus service to some Vernon Malone students using the former Wakefield High School 9th Grade Center in Wake Forest.
Vernon Malone opened in August 2014 in a renovated Coca-Cola bottling plant in south Raleigh. The school is a partnership between the Wake County school system and Wake Technical Community College.
Students can graduate with a high school diploma and training in eight specialized areas taught by instructors from Wake Tech. Program offerings include automobile-collision repair, cosmetology, welding, nursing assistant, bio-pharmaceuticals, simulation and game development, applied engineering and multi-trades, which covers air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.