Hancock school’s roof partially collapsed

Edzordzi Agobozo, Lode Writer

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On Feb. 24 this year, Local 3 News reported a bus garage collapse in Negaunee Public Schools as a result of heavy snow pile up on the roof of the building. Sixteen busses were trapped inside the debris. Almost a month later, another school building’s roof collapsed in Hancock.

On Wednesday Mar. 14, Local 3 reported that the roof of Barkell Elementary School in Hancock has collapsed. The collapse was attributed to combinations of heavy rain and heavy snow. The walls beneath the collapsed section also bowed outward. By the time the school authorities discovered the collapse on Thursday morning, some of the students were already in the school. Authorities decided to closed down the school and bus the elementary school students to the middle and high schools on Campus Drive. They dismissed students from the other grades.

Reacting to the news of the collapsed roof, Stefka Hristova, a parent and associate professor in the department of humanities of Michigan Tech said, this is “a school in crisis. You can see the layers and layers of compacted snow!” Adam Wellstead, a resident of Hancock and associate professor in the department of social sciences at Michigan Tech also commented “Who would have ever guessed that thousands of pounds of snow on a flat roof might be a problem? Shocking!”

Superintendent Kipp Beaudoin and a team of volunteers assisted to relocate the students and to help clean up the debris. “I want to thank the city, law enforcement, public works. OHM came over immediately and offered their assistance to us, and again the community has rallied, and we’re really appreciative,” Beaudoin said. The Superintendent’s Office later announced the cancellation of school for Friday.

According to Keweenaw Reports, more roof collapses were recorded in the Upper Peninsula within the same period. These collapses included a winter storage building in Baraga County Fairgrounds, Keweenaw spring restaurant in Baraga County and a vacant retail space on Fifth St. in Calumet that was once home to Family Dollar.