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City of Dawsonville, school system work to recover from winter storm damage
Winter storm update 2022 2
The restrooms at Dawsonville’s Main Street Park are closed following water pipe damage due to recent frigid winter temperatures. File photo. - photo by Erica Jones

Area residents are not the only ones dealing with a frozen or watery mess from the ongoing chilly temperatures. 

Dawson County Schools’ Professional Development Center (PDC), Family Services Center (FSC) and the athletic fieldhouse at Dawson County Junior High School are all closed after incurring damage from the frigid weather, said Superintendent Nicole LeCave on Dec. 28. 

Note: You can find updated information on the school system's progress on the cold-weather repairs here.

“All [three] facilities have water damage to the ceiling, walls and floors due to burst sprinklers or pipes,” LeCave said. “Repairs will begin immediately.”

Due to the PDC’s burst pipe, Dawson County Family Connection will move its January community meeting to Zoom, Coordinator Rebecca Bliss stated in a Dec. 27 email. 

“The timeline for completion is unknown, but we anticipate it taking a few months,” LeCave said of the school system facilities. “However, it could be sooner, depending on the availability of supplies and materials. The district will work diligently to reopen all three facilities as quickly as possible.”

LeCave elaborated that as of Dec. 28, no schools have been impacted, with the exception of an outside cooling tower at Blacks Mill Elementary School. That tower is scheduled to be repaired on Jan. 2. 

“The district is working this week to ensure all buses are running and working to ensure a smooth opening when our students return,” LeCave added. “We look forward to welcoming our students back on Jan. 4, 2023.”

Have pipe problems?

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services recently shared these tips from the American Red Cross on tending to frozen pipes during cold weather.

Local nonprofit The Place of Dawson County shares its main office with the family services center in a building located at 517 Allen Street in Dawsonville. 

While the pipe burst in the FSC part of the building, The Place did get some water damage, said outreach coordinator Amy Palmer. 

While their offices there are closed for the time being, Palmer said The Place of Dawson is still able to help clients out over the phone at (770) 288-0088 or at the nonprofit’s facility with RIC-Rack at 829 Ga. 9 North. 

Palmer also thanked Dawson County officials for their efforts with the warming shelter at Rock Creek Park and collecting donations for those in need. The shelter held about 15 people throughout the weekend and there were no issues at the site, said Fire Chief Troy Leist. 

“I love that people poured donations into the community and to people that need it,” Palmer said. “I love how the community loves their neighbors.”

The restrooms at Dawsonville’s Main Street Park remain closed after the city announced two days ago via a Facebook post that the pipes for both sides had frozen.

Piping on the men’s side has been fixed, and now officials are working on getting sheetrock for the ceiling, City Manager Bob Bolz said on Dec. 27. 

There is no timeline as to when all of the repairs will be completed, he added. 

This weekend’s chilly weather may have contributed to more than just water damage. 

DCN has received reports of a Christmas evening wreck on the historic Dawson County courthouse’s Shoal Creek Road side damaging that portion of the building’s railings.

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office did investigate the accident, said Sheriff Jeff Johnson. 

DCN has filed an open records request for DCSO’s accident report. As of online publication, the report is not yet available.