MSCS estimates $300K in repairs after winter storm damage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis-Shelby County Schools expects to spend around $300,000 on winter storm repairs.

The district made the announcement in a Tuesday press conference.

MSCS officials cited various types of damages including frozen water lines, power outages, and flooding. We learned coils and HVAC systems were the most common challenges left behind from the winter blast.

District officials said 29 schools were impacted.

“One of these water lines froze and the spigot popped off, which caused water to flood the hallway,” explained MSCS’ new Chief of Business Operations Julius Muse.

The chief took FOX13 on a tour of Brewster Elementary, briefing us on damages at the location. “Anytime metal freezes, it expands and it blew this cap off so that allowed water to shoot out in the hallway and fill this area.”

We learned the school suffered flooding on Christmas Day caused by a supply line crack at one of its bottle filler stations. The Brewster Elementary supply line has since been repaired.

Muse said other locations across the district were not spared.

The other 28 schools encountered some significant blows.

“Damages, pipelines, water lines, coils, HVAC systems, and power outages.”

According to district leaders, three of its high schools, Frederick Douglass High, Kingsbury High School, and Whitehaven High, were hit with power outages.

Muse also made mention of the district’s decades-old infrastructure, sharing how it makes use of preventative methods to combat serious storms.

“They’re 30, 40, 50-year-old schools. The infrastructure is just not built to withstand that type of extreme cold,” said Muse. “We make sure our boilers are running. We try to install heaters and space heaters in areas that we know that we have older pipes and older equipment in.”

MSCS has since been able to shave down the repair list from 20, to now only 10 of its schools still in need of repair.

“It was just a tough stretch for us, for the city. This storm crippled pretty much the whole city. Our schools were not oblivious to it.”