Sparta schools to reopen after roof concerns

(sparta snow cleanup)

February 19, 2014 6:50:18 PM PST
Schools will reopen Thursday in Sparta, New Jersey after passing building inspections.

Schools dismissed early Tuesday to inspect roofs of all five school buildings because of heavy snow after a troubling discovery at one of the schools.

According to officials, a staff member observed ceiling tile falling in an annex classroom at Helen Morgan School. The ceiling tile was removed by custodial staff and the roof inspected.

Roof inspection revealed a structure issue with one of the supporting roof trusses. All students in the annex area of the building were immediately relocated to the cafeteria.

The decision was then made to dismiss schools early and begin inspecting the roofs.

Schools were closed Wednesday while workers cleared snow from the roofs, and the buildings were deemed safe.

Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Dennis Tobin released a statement saying that classes would not resume until Thursday, " Our school engineer along with school personnel will continue to inspect and evaluate the roof structure at the Helen Morgan School along with the roofs at our four other school buildings throughout the day on Wednesday. In addition, we are in the process of removing snow and ice from identified roof areas in the school district. Our goal is to reopen schools on Thursday, February 20th. My office realizes the importance of getting our students back in the classroom and minimizing the disruptions of instruction and student learning. However, with that being said, the safety of our students and staff must continue to be our number one priority. Our custodial and maintenance staff will be working around the clock to address these issues and return to our normal school schedule. I will provide an update to our students, staff and parents tomorrow afternoon regarding the status of the reopening of our schools. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable evening!"

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