OCONTO (WFRV) Restoration crews have worked non-stop to get Oconto High School back to normal, following the April 16th fire that caused $5-million in damage. That’s involved rebuilding portions of lavatory where the fire started. But it’s also mean more extensive clean up of soot above the ceiling grid. That’s exposed openings in concrete walls that are no longer allowed under building codes. It also means bringing high tech wiring under new codes.

“When the internet connective started, installers just laid it on top of the grid. But now that we’ve taken the grid down, the inspector wanted everything tied down and secured to the bottom of the framework,” said J. Murphy, with Paul Davis National Large Loss Specialists.

Parts of the building, including the library have been sealed off so treatments can be added to remove smoke odors. But meeting codes and upgrading smoke detection and heating systems will likely have the district revising referendum plans…upward.

“The cost of a new heating system here, which would include the code damper shutoff upon a smoke detection system, that’s close to three-million,” said Superintendent Sara Croney, Oconto Unified School District.

Teachers and staff will be able to start bringing items back into the classroom May 6th. The restoration work has proceeded non-stop at Oconto High School and so have efforts to make sure everything is running according to schedule.

“We do a three-hour analysis every day to make sure we’re on track for the opening day of May 12th. And so far, we are right on track,” Murphy said.

Local 5’s Terry Kovarik has the story.