Thurston High School’s auxiliary gym suffered major damage in last week’s snowstorm. The Springfield Public School Board wasted no time in addressing the situation and the structure was quickly demolished.
A janitor first noticed a crack in a beam mid-week, and by Friday, a large section of the roof had completely given way. No one was hurt.
Springfield Schools spokesperson Jen McCulley says the board had just declared an emergency shortly before the collapse. She adds that “because of the emergency declaration and our board’s swift action, we were able to just go ahead and have contractors on site all weekend and that auxiliary gym is no longer there at Thurston High School - it has been completely removed.”
McCulley said while the auxiliary gym was heavily used and some scheduling will need to be worked out, there is potential to have access to nearby Thurston Middle School’s gym so there will be less impact than initially thought. The plan is to rebuild the auxiliary gym by the fall at a cost of $25,000 to cover the insurance deductible to replace the structure.
After the failure of the initial beam, teams were dispatched across the district to be sure any other potential concerns were identified. They report that after assessments, all buildings were deemed safe for occupancy and students and staff returned to school on Monday.
McCulley credits the facilities and maintenance crews throughout the snow event. She adds “they did a phenomenal job keeping the buildings safe so they could return to school as soon as possible.”