The Woodland Hills school board last week approved an emergency contract to repair a chimney stack at Edgewood Elementary School that was struck by lightning.
Jerry Chessman, assistant to acting superintendent Alan Johnson, said the district is unsure when the lightning strike occurred -- maintenance personnel checking on the heating and ventilation systems on the school's roof noticed the damage.
Mr. Chessman said the crack affects only the stack's outer layer, not the inner layer.
"The structural integrity is not jeopardized at all," he said.
Despite that, the repair must be made before the district turns the heat on because once exhaust fumes begin coming out of the chimney, a contractor won't be able to work on it, Mr. Chessman said.
The board approved a contract for up to $79,500 on Sept. 11 with Marsa Inc., a masonry contractor, to repair the stack.
Mr. Chessman said the contract is for $46,100 to replace the outer layer of the chimney. If damage to the inner layer is discovered, the cost to repair the chimney could increase by $33,400.
Mr. Chessman said the district's insurance company has been notified to determine whether insurance will cover all or part of the cost.
He said he didn't know when the repairs will begin but that work will start after the district's solicitor reviews and approves the contract, the materials are ready and Edgewood building permits are secured.
"We're doing everything we can to get this process started as soon as possible," he said.
Annie Siebert: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1613. Twitter: @AnnieSiebert.