Bend▶️ Bend-La Pine shares measures it takes to keep school roofs snow...

▶️ Bend-La Pine shares measures it takes to keep school roofs snow safe

▶️ Bend-La Pine shares measures it takes to keep school roofs snow safe

▶️ Bend-La Pine shares measures it takes to keep school roofs snow safe

People living in Bend in 2017 may remember what happened at Highland Elementary School. The gymnasium roof collapsed due to a heavy load of snow.

No one was in the building at the time, but for some parents the memory is still fresh, especially as we experienced a huge snowstorm followed by freezing rain.

“We’re scheduled to get rain this week, so I think it’s going to get really icy and heavy,” Highland Elementary School parent Virginia Hermanssonn said. “I have been thinking about it, but I feel pretty confident. We have a new gym, new roof and this building went through the last big snowstorm, so I’m not too worried.”

A viewer emailed Central Oregon Daily News on Sunday asking if the Bend-La Pine School District has taken any measures since the incident. She added she was very concerned as a parent with a child in the school district.

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Becca Burda, Bend-La Pine Assistant Director of Communications, said the district has maintenance crews that regularly evaluate the structural integrity of all of their buildings. While the recent snow was dry and powdery, the district consults with a local engineering firm when it becomes heavier.

“They will come in and measure the weight of the snow and take all of those things into account to see if we need to make sure that all of those roofs are emptied of the snow, that all that snow is removed. Or if we can just make that the storm drains are clear and melting them is enough,” Burda said.

On days when the icy roads cause school closures, the district says those maintenance crews work around the clock to ensure our schools are safe.

“They’re working 24/7 in the schools to make sure that the school grounds are safe, cleared, sanded. Making sure that those eaves that hang over the school that they’re cleared of icicles that can be very dangerous. They’re hard at work at all the schools,” Burda said.

Burda says structural evaluations are performed by their crews all throughout the year and evaluations are on a priority basis. Older schools such as Bend High School and Bear Creek Elementary are inspected more often than newer schools such as Caldera High School.

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