Over 200 people will be cleaning up flood damage at the Sunol Glen School this Saturday caused by the barrage of atmospheric river storms, which started on New Year's Eve, school district Superintendent Molleen Barnes confirmed.
The "Sunol Glen Flood Damage Clean Up Day" will have residents help with wiping down play structures, move fallen debris, rake the fields and shovel mud.
"We are incredibly grateful for our school and community and know that we have a lot of folks pulling for us and who are providing not only funds and supplies, but their willingness to come and work side-by-side to get our school closer to its beautiful pre-storm condition," Barnes told the Weekly.
The clean up event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be hosted by the office of Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert.
"Sunol experienced a tremendous amount of damage," Haubert, whose district encompasses the community, said in a press release. "The atmospheric river deluge devastated Sunol Glen School, creating extensive damage to classrooms, offices, the school garden and playground. When you combine that with the road and infrastructure damage, as well as the personal property losses for many residents, it's clear Sunol neighbors need our help."
Along with getting the community's physical help to clean up the school, the Three Valleys Community Foundation recently announced that it will also help the Sunol school through a special philanthropic fund.
"We are delighted to stand strong with the greater Sunol community to help address these unmet needs," foundation CEO Kelly Bowers said in a statement. "The rains may have dissipated, but the relief needs remain. This field of interest fund will provide that necessary long-term recovery assistance."
The second-year regional foundation works with local donors and nonprofits to "achieve their impact goals through inclusive leadership, thoughtful funding, informed giving and collaborative action," according to its website.
According to a press release from the foundation, three Sunol based organizations -- the Sunol Business Guild, the Sunol Glen Community Club and the Sunol Citizens Advisory Council -- have joined together to "prioritize the recovery and directly help local businesses and residents via the Sunol Relief and Recovery Fund."
"Our three organizations are committed to helping our residents, school and local businesses recover from this emergency," said Andrew Turnbull, an officer with the Sunol Business Guild. "We hope residents in the greater Tri-Valley and East Bay will join our efforts and support the Sunol Relief and Recovery Fund."
Barnes told the Weekly that she is appreciative of the help coming in from all sides of the county and of the foundation for working to provide a donation that will help mitigate the needs due to the flood's aftermath.
She added that while she and her fellow Sunol Glen Unified School District leaders have been working hard over the past four weeks in cleaning up the school, there is still a lot more to be done.
"We have put forth a lot of work over the past four weeks including using bobcats to remove mud and debris from our blacktop surfaces, empty out classrooms, offices and storage rooms that were flooded, begin the work of putting in new walls and flooring, working on starting the process to repair and replace the three portable classrooms (that will need to be demolished) and repair areas that were significantly damaged," Barnes said.
"We were able to put up temporary fencing along the back of the school and carve out small 'play areas' so that the students are able to have safe places to run around for recess and P.E. -- it is a joy to see how resilient kids are and that although 85% of their play area is gone, they are truly making the most of it!" she added.
Apart from the three new portable classrooms, the school will also need a new fence, playground equipment, classroom materials, new rugs and other miscellaneous supplies before the school is fully restored.