Small Atlanta private school deals with water damage

School worried damage won't be fully fixed

ATLANTA -- A small private school in southwest Atlanta is dealing with major damage after thousands of gallons of water spilled onto its campus over two days.
It happened as Atlanta Watershed tried to fix a major water main break nearby. But the school director is worried the damage will not be fully fixed.
Instead of being known for its five acres of agriculture and its vegetable gardens, right now, Pearl Academy in southwest Atlanta looks more like a construction zone, and judging from the list of repairs, it may remain that way for quite some time.
A walk through the grounds of the small private school in southwest Atlanta is more like a tour of what used to be.
"You've got retainer walls that were knocked over," said the school's director. "You've got six foot trenches under the pavilion. I saw the front flower bed -- destroyed. The gravel settled a few inches above this AC unit -- and of course this AC unit has stopped working."
And on the inside, it's not any better.
"If you walk in there, you can still smell the compromise," she said. "The air quality has been compromised. Anybody walking in there can smell it."
She says the problems started in late August -- with a nearby water main break. To fix the problem, Atlanta Watershed had to relieve water pressure.
That meant opening the fire hydrant directly across from Pearl Academy and leaving it open for hours. Which is not ideal for any land. But for a school with a focus on agriculture, planting gardens and raising livestock, the debris washing onto the grounds can be devastating.
11Alive News went directly to the Atlanta Watershed Department.
Already, the school director said, contractors are working to fix the property. We saw them at work on Wednesday.
The school's director says she just wants everything restored to 'pre-water conditions.' The Watershed Department says that should take about four weeks.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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