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Sanborn Regional High School restroom arson tab is $400,000

By Jason Schreiber
Union Leader Correspondent

February 11. 2014 10:49PM

KINGSTON — The cleanup and repair bill for a fire allegedly started by a student inside a restroom at Sanborn Regional High School is expected to total nearly $400,000, a school official said.

"The damage that was caused was significant and carries a big price tag and the implications are far-reaching," Superintendent Brian Blake said Tuesday.

Primex, the school district's insurer, is expected to cover most of the bill. Blake said the district will have to pay a deductible, but he's not sure how much that will be.

It's also too early to know how last Thursday's fire will affect the school district's insurance rates.

"On a school building like this, I don't foresee the rates skyrocketing," Blake said.

A 15-year-old male student is facing arson charges after police said he intentionally set the fire in a boys' restroom on the second floor of the high school, which was built in 2006.

Blake said the student has been "removed" from school and that further disciplinary action is pending.

An insurance adjuster surveyed the damage Thursday. Professional cleaning crews and other contractors were hired to immediately begin their work.

The fire damage was confined to the restroom, but officials said there was extensive smoke damage in the building.

Air scrubbers and deodorizer machines were brought in; the school's HVAC system had to be cleaned because of the smoke. Work also included cleaning walls, furniture and other surfaces. Hundreds of ceiling tiles also had to be replaced.

The damaged restroom will remain closed for at least the next two weeks.

Given the scope of the work and the extent of the damage, Blake said he wasn't surprised by the $400,000 estimate.

"When looking at the manpower that was used from Thursday night right through Sunday night to get it done, there's a significant cost involved," Blake said.

Members of the Sanborn Regional School Board are aware of the damage and the cleanup, but likely won't discuss it publicly until their next meeting on Feb. 19.

"It's an awful lot of money. You build them a $30 million high school and then you've got hundreds of thousands in damage," Kingston Selectman Mark Heitz said.

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