The price tag for repairing Nicolet High School after 80% of the building was damaged in last month's floods rings up at more than $5 million, Superintendent Rick Monroe said Wednesday.
School officials also announced Tuesday that the first day of school will be pushed to Sept. 13, rather than Sept. 1.
"The last couple weeks, it seemed like the scope of the project was growing exponentially, and we just had many more areas of the building that needed to be renovated and restored," Monroe said.
The flooring in the building makes up a large amount of the work that still needs to be done. In addition to replacing the gym floor, the theater stage, dance studio and most of the flooring in classrooms and offices will be replaced. The cafeteria floor, only about 3 years old, will be replaced during winter break.
In addition to the few inches of standing water on the main level, 6 feet of water in the basement damaged two major boilers, each costing $160,000, ruined the football team's new equipment, submerged the building's three main electrical units and destroyed the drama department's props and costumes.
Crews are still working around the clock, and the rain and high humidity have not been a factor in extending the restoration.
"We have so many machines sucking out air, the building is basically a giant dehumidifier," Monroe said. "It can be tropical outside and it is as dry as a desert inside."
If school were to start on Sept. 1, the building would still be considered a work zone with significant safety issues, Monroe said. Workers would be able to work only when students were not in the building, pushing the project's completion back to December.
With a Sept. 13 start, contractors will have 12 extra days to work, after which the building will be 95% complete, with only final touches left, Monroe said.
"How the school will look on September 1 as opposed to September 13 will be night and day," Monroe said.
To make up for the later start, the school added three days to the end of the year and converted two days when classes were to be dismissed for conferences into regular school days.
"That's a very small price to pay to get these 12 days of continuous, nonstop, uninterrupted work for the contractors," Monroe said.