What we did this Summer

I feel like we are about to reminisce about what happened this Summer in a school report for the Seventh Grade, Mrs. Hickman’s English class.

We decided to shutdown the Museum for a month, one of our staff had requested 7 weeks off to spend with her daughter. It seemed like a good thing to do. We needed some time to take a deep breath and assess where we were and where we wanted to go. Little did I suspect that I wasn’t going to get much- if any of that time off.

We closed our doors officially June 5th. I worked an additional week to get a few projects finished, then found out the KCS Maintenance needed to clear our storage area in the Auditorium/Stage. We begun work on that only to learn the following Friday, that our new neighbor’s the Dover renovation group working on rebuilding the old South Junior High into a nursing home, had broken the water main. It was Friday, I said no big deal and went home.

Then I got the call Saturday that disaster had struck. By the time, I arrived at 12:30 on Saturday, most of it was over. According to what I was told, Dover’s construction workers had failed to inform the Sarah Simpson staff exactly when they had broken the water main. In that time someone had used the men’s bathroom upstairs from the museum and a urinal had not completed its cycle leaving its flow valve open.

In the meantime, KUB had come out and fixed the breakage and when the water came back on it hit the urinal like an oil well blowing. One maintenance guy described it as a fountain. In short, the water from the broken urinal flooded the two rooms above the Museum and our overflow room which was the old choir room.

Fortunately for us, the leakage in the museum only took out 8 ceiling tiles and one poster. So while it was quite the mess, there was not real damage in the museum. The choir room was not so lucky. It flooded the bottom floor and several tiers where the student desks had been. It took almost 12 hours to drain and dry it.

We ended up with damaged boxes, annuals, pictures, and water sodden memorabilia. We had stored everything but much of it was in cardboard boxes. The loss in some ways is unrecoverable.

What was worse is that it didn’t end there. The room kept leaking and it would take another 2 weeks with KCS maintenance working overtime to finally sort it all out. Now, we are slowly assessing the damage and raising the funds to make sure nothing like this happens again.

Since then, it has dominated our summer. The Museum was forced to stay closed until July 15th. We lack the volunteers to build the racks all at once, or even to do much sorting of the damaged items. We are going to try to restore everything that was damaged by the water.

We need your help.

We need volunteers

We have a donation campaign going on Facebook right now.

or you can mail us a check.

and that what we did this Summer.