Rochester School Evacuated Over Structural Concerns (UPDATE)
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A slight bow in the ceiling tiles in a portion of Gage Elementary School in Rochester led to the evacuation of that section of the building and eventually the entire school.
Rochester Public Schools spokesperson Heather Nessler says the issue was first noticed by a custodian this morning on the east side of the school building and prompted concerns about the deep snow piled on the roof. She says an engineer was called in to assess the situation, and the decision was made to cancel classes this afternoon to allow the engineer to remove the snow from the roof and conduct a structural assessment.
It was hoped the assessment could be completed this afternoon, but Nessler says the snow removal process is taking longer than expected and it's been decided to keep the school closed Thursday to allow the engineer time to perform the assessment and make sure the building is safe. Students throughout the school district have the day off on Friday, which means the staff has until Monday to reopen Gage.