Ore. Elementary School’s Gym Roof Collapse Prompts Safety Assessments

The area is dealing with higher snow totals this winter than usual.

Multiple school districts in Oregon will resume classes this week after the collapse of an elementary school gym roof Jan. 12.

The incident caused school officials to cancel classes and hire structural engineers to assess all of the school buildings in the Bend-La Pine School District, the Redmond School District and the Sisters School District.

“This morning, we met with a structural engineering firm working on our bond project and again inspected and reviewed structural plans of all of our schools and performed walk-through visual inspections for potential stress points throughout the district,” the Sisters School District’s Friday statement read.

No one was inside the gym at Kenwood Elementary when it collapsed, but schools were immediately closed at Bend-La Pine. The remains of the building were demolished later that day. The other districts also decided to close their buildings later in the day.

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Athletic events at the school districts were also cancelled.

In addition to the structural engineers, the districts hired snow removal companies to lessen the snow’s weight on certain buildings, according to ktv.com.

The area is dealing with larger-than-usual snow totals, which raised concerns about the older buildings in the school districts. The gymnasium that collapsed was 67 years old.

Other buildings around the city have also collapsed under the snow loads.

Officials with the Sisters School District in Bend also said they hired experts to perform walk-through inspections and structural assessments of all the roofs in the district. The inspectors determined that the buildings are safe for students.

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