Lightning strikes campus


Source: Wikimedia There are no actual photos of the lightning strike that occurred the weekend of July 6.

Joy Schwarz, Reporter

Three months after a major lightning strike, the administration is still dealing with thousands of dollars in repairs to the building and school equipment.

“It appears that it struck the building,” Brian McPheeters, Vice President of Finance & Administration said. “It somehow got into the electrical circuit on the roof through the AC unit, then traveled through the electrical system back upstream to the transformer.”

The transformer in the back of the building was completely destroyed internally, however, there were no indications of burn marks. Experts told McPheeters that often there is no burn mark at all, but a miniscule pinhole, no matter how damaging the strike is.

“Half the building’s power was out,” McPheeters said. “We’re talking AC and everything else.”

The IT team spent numerous hours the weekend of July 6 re-routing the power with electrical companies.

“They got the power back and then the IT guys had to deal with getting power back on line, running checks to make sure everything was okay,” he said.”We saw there are still spots [of damage] we hadn’t previously noticed.”

Two months into the school year, power outlets in certain classrooms remain inoperable. Kristopher Thurston, Assistant Director of Technology, said one of the most expensive issues is repairing the sound system in the gym, which had numerous speakers blown out.

“Costs are still coming in, but it will likely be over $200,000 in damage,” McPheeters said. “However, this is completely covered by insurance, above our deductible of $2,500. So, our only cost will be the $2,500.”