Schools Soaked With Sinkholes
The strong storms that soaked Marion County activated a string of sinkholes, and several created craters near public schools.
It's what everyone's talking about at Ward-Highlands Elementary in southeast Ocala.
"A couple days ago, it looked like a water fall, but today it doesn't," said Hannah Glore, a first-grade student.
The gaping hole in the bus loop is all the buzz.
"We're keeping an eye on it everyday, make sure nothing new has developed," said Wally Wagoner, Deputy Superintendent of Schools.
The sinkhole, believed to be at least 25-feet deep, is one of several that's opened on school district property since severe rain hit the area earlier this week.
"There's five locations, probably a dozen sink holes at one of the locations; it's kind of like a piece of swiss cheese," he said.
However, the cost of fixing, is like the old saying, chalk and cheese.
"The last large problem was at Hammett Bowen Elementary School, and we probably spent a couple hundred thousand dollars," he said.
The City of Ocala has 12 sink holes they're responsible to fill, many of them in or around retention ponds.
"We're just going to take them one at a time, as we can," said Sonny Allen, City Spokesperson.
Like the city, the school district has no idea what the total cost will be.
Officials say, it will come out of a reserve fund, and the bus loop hole is the first on the list.
"Putting money in a hole in the ground is not where we'd like to put it, we want to put it in a classroom to impact students," said Wagoner.
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