Danville Area Middle School, Montour County

Category: Flood Risk Management

Point of Contact: Steven Ward, FEMA Region III Recovery Director; (215) 931-5717



Project Description (project details, duration, etc.): The purpose of the project was to repair damaged buildings and equipment in the Danville Area Middle School facility caused by the effects of Tropical Storm Lee and located in the Borough of Danville, PA.

The school experienced heavy flooding throughout the facility with more than 90,000 square feet flooded extensively throughout the first floor. Floodwaters, which ranged anywhere from six inches to six feet deep, were responsible for extensive damages to the gym/stage floor, wall panels and windows, chalk boards, lockers, doors, 7500 feet of urethane indoor athletic flooring, cabinets, 800 unit metal bleachers, HVAC controls, equipment and pipes, and various other school-related equipment.

More than $1 million of the grant was allocated for the mitigation project, designed to alleviate future damages to the middle school. In addition, some of the other hazard mitigation activities to be performed included the installation of 48 inch high walls and 76 inch removable gates at each exterior entry/exit doors; removing all vinyl tile flooring and replacing it with epoxy-type floor covering; and the removal and relocation of HVAC units and through-the-brick-wall HVAC vents.

Issues Encountered: The primary mitigation issue revolved around the issue of compliance w/ Danville Borough NFIP floodplain regulations (wet vs. dry). Complicating the FEMA funded flood recovery project was the issue of a partially completed Commonwealth of Pa sponsored flood protection levee and closure system and it impact on the applicability of NFIP floodproofing regulations. Although the design for the system had been completed, the necessary financing for the manufacturing and installation of the closures had not been approved or authorized. Therefore, a determination of flood protection compliance with FEMA NFIP A99 requirements, recognizing adequate 100 Yr / 1% chance flood protection could not be made.

Another issue affecting the community was whether the local district would abandon the damaged Middle School in favor of a flood free location outside the direct service area of the majority of the population served.

Funding (cost, funding stream(s), etc.): The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth provided a $3,176,028.54 grant to the Danville Area School District. The grant represented a 75 percent federal share and a 25 percent Commonwealth share of the project costs.

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