The windstorm that blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14 caused its share of damage, but the New Albany-Plain Local School District saw at least one benefit from it.

The windstorm that blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14 caused its share of damage, but the New Albany-Plain Local School District saw at least one benefit from it.

The emergency allowed the school district to test its new emergency call system for the first time.

Ken Stark, district director of business operations, told school board members during Monday's meeting that the campus sustained damages when the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through New Albany.

"There was $7,000 of damage to the campus," he said. "We lost some parts of the roof, some shingles. We lost a little food in the cafeteria and some electrical lamps on campus."

Stark said the first test of the phone system was supposed to be a few weeks away, but the windstorm gave the district an opportunity to see the new system in action.

"It was not quite ready, but we used it anyway," Stark said.

Because the emergency phone system was not yet ready to be used, Stark said, some "minor glitches" occurred. Homes with children in more than one school building in the district received multiple calls, but Stark said that problem would be fixed.

Despite multiple calls to some families, Stark said, more than 4,000 calls were made in three to four minutes by the emergency phone system.

"It will be a good system for us moving forward," he said.

Stark said the phone system will be used primarily for such emergencies as school closings and gas leaks at first but eventually could be used for other school communications.

In other matters:

The district received two grants from the New Albany Community Foundation during Monday's meeting.

Foundation executive director Craig Mohre gave checks for a SMART Board and software for the Kathryn Borghi Digital Library.

Middle school art teacher Dana Kagrise received a $1,750 grant that will be matched by the school district for a SMART Board for her classroom.

Kagrise said while researching SMART Boards, she realized the interactive tool would help her reach all students.

"The more I looked into those, the more excited I became for the students," she said.

The $1,680 grant for the Kathryn Borghi Digital Library will pay for software to convert digital information for students with disabilities.

New Albany High School teacher David Herman was presented with an "excellence in the category of rigor" award from the CISCO Academy.

Herman teaches the high school's CISCO academy that focuses on computer networking, information and communications technology.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com