A study is now underway at Tuloso-Midway Primary School in an effort to solve what has been a three-year problem with drainage and a sewer gas odor emanating from the school's foundation, district officials said Monday.
According to a report presented to the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District Board of Trustees earlier this month, a team of engineers led by Gignac and Associates examined the school in May at the request of the district's business consultant, Ricardo Rodriguez, to address complaints of the odor. Interim superintendent Sue Nelson said after talking with campus staff and administration, the issue is one that has been a problem since at least 2007.
The 103,000-square-foot primary school first opened in 2004 with a price tag of $12.3 million, the same year the district's $10.8 million intermediate school opened.
Upon inspection of the building, the team found the source of the odor to be several broken sewer pipes underneath the building, according to the report. The pipes were likely broken as a result of the surrounding soil expanding when wet and contracting when dry, Rodriguez said.
According to the report, there is also heavy erosion in certain areas around the building that has allowed water to accumulate, as well as spots in the foundation closures that are damaged or missing. This has allowed water to get underneath the building, according to the report.
"We are at the preliminary stage of this process," Nelson said.
Rodriguez said further information is being gathered by the engineers, including topographical studies and aerial photographs of the site, which should be complete within the next three weeks. This information will give the district a more accurate roadmap to fix the problem, he added.
There is no fixed cost yet for the repairs, though Rodriguez estimated it could be about $200,000, an amount the district would have to pay.