Sparta schools to reopen Thursday after roofs deemed safe

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SPARTA ‑ Sparta schools will reopen Thursday after Superintendent Dennis Tobin said the roofs were inspected and there are no signs of any deflection or failure.

Here is Tobin's full message on the Sparta's school system web page.

"Good afternoon, this is Mr. Tobin, Superintendent of Schools. I would like to provide our school community with an update regarding the roof incident that occurred at the Helen Morgan School on Tuesday, February 18th. First, please be advised that all Sparta schools will reopen Thursday, February 20th. As indicated in previous communications, on Tuesday a staff member at the Helen Morgan School observed ceiling tiles buckling in one annex classroom. Let me clarify that we did not have a "roof collapse." Once notified of the situation, school personnel inspected that area of the roof. This initial roof inspection revealed structure failure with the support trusses in this classroom. No students at any time occupied this classroom. All students and staff in the annex section of the building were immediately relocated to the cafeteria. As a precautionary measure all district schools operated on an early dismissal schedule. Since student dismissal on Tuesday, snow and ice has been removed from identified roof areas at the Helen Morgan and Alpine schools. We will continue to remove snow and ice from certain roof tops in the district, along with ensuring that all roof drain pipes are clear. In addition to the snow removal, our school engineer has conducted a comprehensive roof inspection at the Helen Morgan and Alpine schools. He also has completed roof inspections at the Mohawk Avenue School, Middle School, and High School. At this time, there are no signs of any roof deflection or failure at any of our five school buildings with the exception of the one classroom at the Helen Morgan School. This classroom, under the direction of our school engineer, has been constructed with temporary supports until we can design and implement a permanent structural solution. This classroom will be closed to students and staff until this permanent solution is in place. I am confident that all the necessary steps have been taken to provide for a safe reopening of school for all of our students and staff. As with all emergencies we will look to implement certain district protocols and procedures to minimize or prevent any future weather related building issues. I apologize for any inconvenience that was caused to our school families due to the disruption of our school schedule over the last 48 hours and appreciate the cooperation and support from our school community. Thank you and best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable and successful school year."

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