Repairs to damaged school begin in Ishpeming

ISHPEMING – Workers began making repairs Wednesday to a damaged section of the Ishpeming Middle/High School that was caused when a vehicle drove into the building last month.

The Ishpeming School Board of Education accepted a $68,000 bid from Marquette-based Associated Constructors LLC, the full cost of which will be covered by the district’s insurance.

Ishpeming interim superintendent Dan Paul said that engineers and architects have examined the building damage, but said they won’t know for sure the exact costs until Associated Constructors ascertains the full extent of the damage to both interior and exterior walls.

“They have an idea, but when they start tearing off bricks and start looking at walls it could be more expensive or less expensive than they originally thought,” he said.

Joseph Pennala, 29, of Ishpeming was arrested Oct. 12 after allegedly crashing into the building.

The vehicle traveled through the intersection of Third and Pearl streets, went through the retaining wall between the school and the sidewalk and slammed into the brick wall of the building.

Pennala pleaded not guilty by mail. His scheduling conference is set for 2 p.m. Dec. 5.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.