20 Aug 2014
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Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up

Measure to repair the indoor track complex flattened by Hurricane Sandy was approved by school board unanimously

Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up Bennett Bubble Almost Back Up

The Bennett Athletic Center was nearly re-inflated Saturday morning.

Toms River School District spokeswoman Tammi Millar said the "bubble" was 95 percent inflated, and the district's maintenance foreman, John Biscotti, was on site.

A schedule for future events is posted on the center's webste, indicating the postponements that came as a result of Sandy:

Sat. December 15 DEMAREST INVITATIONAL (postponed until December 22)
Postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Wed. December 19 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Fri. December 21 Olympic Conference
Sat. December 22 Demarest Inviational Postponed from December 15
Postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Sat. December 22 MERLI LARGE / MERLI SMALL Postponed until December 29th
Meet postponed due to Hurricane Sandy Thu. December 27 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Sat. December 29 Merli Invitaional Large and Small Schools (postponed from 12-22)
Meet may be combined depending on amount of schools entered Wed. January 2 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Thu. January 3 SOUTH JERSEY TRACK MEET
Fri. January 4 GREATER MIDDLESEX CONFERENCE

The cost of fixing the center could come in at $800,000, but the Toms River Regional School District is hoping FEMA would pay for 75 percent of the cost after an insurance deductible, leaving the school district with a $25,000 bill.

In a recent special board meeting, Toms River Regional school board heard from residents, Intermediate East staff and physical education teachers and coaches about whether to repair the flattened Bennett “Bubble,” which ripped as Hurricane Sandy’s high winds and power outages hit Toms River.

The structure, on the Intermediate East campus, has lain flat since the storm, in what district officials said has risked the coming indoor track season as well as overcrowding of the intermediate gym classes.

School Business Administrator Bill Doering estimates the cost to repair the Bubble could come in around $800,000. However, the district’s insurance deductible is $100,000.

Superintendent Frank Roselli said that after he, Doering and other officials met with FEMA on Nov. 21, he came away assured that the district would only be paying for 75 percent of that, or $25,000.

“We are responsible for 25,000 of that regardless of the cost,” said Board President Ed Gearity.

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