Lubbock Schools Prepared Following Lockney Fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/13/09

Lubbock Schools Prepared Following Lockney Fire

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School leaders in Lubbock say the Lockney High School fire raised their awareness about the possibility of disaster in their own district. 

NewsChannel 11 found out how LISD is prepared to handle a similar situation. We found that despite the size difference, Lubbock and Lockney ISD's share strengths and weaknesses. "We're like every other district. Because building codes have changed over time, our newer campuses have sprinkler systems and our older buildings do not," LISD Chief Financial Advisor Art Martin said. 

Martin tells us that sprinklers were not mandated until the 1990's, so a majority of their campuses don't have them. It's a weakness shared with Lockney ISD. Both schools have alarms, but those don't fight fires.

Martin says campuses and additions in the LISD built after the sprinkler mandate are equipped, but says adding systems in older structures would be a major expense.  "We'd have to pass a major bond election to do that," Martin said. 

A strong point in both districts is document back-up.  "We do have an enormous amount of vital records that are required by state and federal law to maintain," Martin said. Lubbock schools have on and off-site storage. Plus, a majority of the documents are electronic.

In Lockney, the district lost some records, but Charles Keaton, Director of Technology for the district, says most were backed up electronically, and many of those that weren't are duplicates or triplicates so they can be copied and replaced. "It makes you think. It makes you come to the office the next day and pull out your policy and take a double look at it," LISD Executive Director of Risk Management Bill Tarrow said. 

Insurance is another concern for both districts. Adjusters were on the scene in Lockney Tuesday. In Lubbock, the district has full coverage and just had properties re-appraised last year.

Lubbock has never experienced what Lockney is dealing with now.  "To displace 2,000 kids is kind of a daunting thought," Martin said. 

However, they say plans are in place should disaster strikes. "We can relocate students to another facility for a while, and we do have insurance to help pay the cost of renting another facility," Tarrow said.

1/13/09
Two Teens in Custody for Lockney High Fire
Two teenage girls are behind bars accused of burning down their high school in Lockney. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little has more from Lockney with the latest on the investigation.

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