Homeowners claim school construction caused their homes to flood

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Some homeowners in Washington Township claim that up until a few years ago, they never had a flooding problem. Then, a school was built nearby and everything changed. They called Fox59 as a last resort as they try to keep their homes from being destroyed by the water.

“It has just caused a lot of heartache,” said Garrett Perry, a homeowner.

In 2010, River Birch Elementary in the Avon School District opened about a third of a mile from Perry’s home.

“The original engineers didn’t account for the drainage out of the fields. All they were looking for was water off the roadways,” Perry said.

He said every time there is a heavy rain, the water comes in so fast from the area where the school was built that the pipes running under his driveway can’t handle the volume. He said it takes over the yard and crawl space.

“I can’t even imagine what it is going to cost to fix everything,” Perry said.

Perry’s walls are cracked, and there’s so much moisture on the floors. They now slope downward.

“It has taken its toll, it keeps my blood pressure up,” Perry said.

Neighbor Carson Smith has already spent thousands of dollars removing debris and getting rid of his pool and pond because of flooding.

Both men claim they’ve been trying to get help since 2010 from Avon school district leaders and Avon town engineers, but they still have no solution.

“I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t think they intend to do anything to be honest with you,” Smith told Fox59.

School district and town officials admit there is an issue and said they’re still working on fixing it.

Kent DeKoninck, associate superintendent of Avon Schools, declined an on-camera interview but issued this statement:

“We’ve been in contact with the engineers from American Structure Point, which worked on the project and they`re working on a design plan. We’re hoping to sit down this week with Garrett Perry to go over the design plan to see if it will be agreeable.”

Ryan Cannon, the public works director for the Town of Avon also issued a statement on the issue explaining that there were problems before the school was even built:

“In 2007, the Town was initially made aware of a drainage problem in the vicinity of 628 N CR 500 E. The drainage problem was occurring on the east side of the road. In heavy rain events the water would over top and flood the road creating a safety issue for the public traveling on CR 500 E. When the School Corporation decided to build River Birch Elementary, they were required to do road improvements in the area of the 628 N CR 500 E. The Town requested that the school include the resolution of the drainage problem at 628 N CR 500 E in their road design which the School Corporation agreed to do.

“The unintended consequence of resolving the initial problem was that it shifted the problem to the west side of the road where there is a downstream restriction that is causing the problem that exists today. Several options to resolve the downstream restriction have been pursued but have been unsuccessful due to the need to acquire rights to construct further improvements outside of the Town’s and the School’s jurisdiction. The engineer on the project has developed another alternative to resolve the problem. The Town and the School will be meeting with the property owner at 628 N CR 500 E next week to see if this proposal is acceptable to them. The Town is confident that the situation will be resolved in both a timely and satisfactory manner to the property owners that have been impacted.”

The homeowners said they’ve heard before that they will be receiving help and still there’s no solution.

“It will be a costly fix and I think they just don’t want to spend it,” Smith said.

Perry said their home values are dropping each day, and they’re running out of time.

“I couldn’t sell this place if I wanted to,” Perry said.

Either way, they’re planning to meet this week to discuss and Fox59 will follow up.

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