Outage a ‘nightmare’ for Lisbon schools

LISBON — The Lisbon School District’s start to the new year has been “disjointed” and a “nightmare” as far as dealing with issues caused by weather, Superintendent Joseph Siefke told the board on Thursday.

Siefke said a two-hour early release is already planned for today due to freezing rain that is anticipated to fall early in the afternoon.

The district also canceled all athletic events, including the scheduled basketball game against East Palestine this evening.

Other schools across the county also planned early dismissals in preparation for the weather.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for today through Saturday for Columbiana and surrounding counties. The service projected snow accumulation of three to six inches for some portions of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Siefke told the board that the school buildings are back in working order after being damaged due to weather and a power outage on Christmas day.

He said the four-hour power outage affected a portion of Lisbon and resulted in damage at the school buildings.

The outage occurred at the village’s substation near McKinley Elementary, but Siefke said it was the Lisbon David Anderson Jr./Sr. High School that was mostly affected.

He explained that when the power went out it caused pipes to freeze and later thaw and break, resulting in flooding at the junior high school building before students returned to classes on Tuesday of this week.

Like others across the county, classes were canceled for students on Monday due to the weather.

Siefke said the Christmas Day outage also affected four heating and cooling units at the junior high school, which broke and must be replaced, and two of the district’s four boilers.

He said replacing the four heating and cooling units alone is estimated to cost upwards of $20,000.

The cost of the pipe, heating and cooling units and other weather-related repairs is being turned in to the district’s insurance company, he added.

Despite the damages, the district was able to hold classes on Tuesday of this week, with students relocated from the four classrooms that housed the heating and cooling units to other areas of the building where heat was available through use of the remaining two boilers, he said.

“It has been a nightmare since Christmas Day … what a disjointed start to the new school year,” Siefke said.

The district has been able to fix the damage and students were able to attend classes all this week with no problems, he added.