GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - WTAQ toured the damage and work being done at Green Bay Preble High School for the first time since last week's fire inside the field house.
On Thursday J. Murphy, Senior VP of Operations with Paul Davis Company, says they don't know the extent of the contamination throughout the building.
"The soot and the smoke that we can see is not a concern to us,” said Murphy. “It’s what we can’t see. So what we’ve done up to this point, is we’ve taken air sampling and we’ve taken what’s called swipe samples. And the hygienist has gone through the building numerous times and they’ll take the samples and they’ll get readings for us and tell us what kind of contamination is in there.”
At that point, Murphy says they'll have a better timetable for when Preble High School can reopen.
Classes were supposed to start on September 2, but officials with the Green Bay Area Public School District haven't decided on a new start date. Officials also haven't determined how students will make up the lost hours of instruction.
Murphy said when the school re-opens, the field house where the fire started will not be ready for students to use. The school does have a smaller gym that will be ready.
Teachers and staff are able to go into some of their rooms and inventory what items have been damaged and need to be replaced.
"We're giving the teachers the opportunity to throw away anything that they don't want," says Murphy. "It would cost far more to clean it than it would be to make a duplicate of it, so that's being evaluated on a room-by-room basis."
Fire investigators said spontaneous combustion ignited the fire. They indicate the fire might have been prevented if district employees had cleaned up correctly after resurfacing the gym’s wood floor.
School officials say insurance will likely cover most, if not all, of the replacement costs.