Wind raises the roof at Parker

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010
— The winds will mean a five-day weekend for students at Janesville's Parker High School.

Parker students were sent home around noon Tuesday because winds were pulling up the membrane that covers a portion of the school's roof.

School will continue to be closed today for repairs. There's no school Thursday or Friday because of a scheduled teacher work day and the teachers union's state conference.

Students were apparently in no danger Tuesday.

Principal Steve Schroeder said the fear was that the rubber membrane, which is attached to electrical and ductwork on the roof, could pull that equipment up and send it flying.

"We wanted to be sure students were safe," Schroeder said of the decision to end school for the day.

Safety was also the concern in closing school today. The roofer has placed tires on the roof to hold the membrane down but could not guarantee that the ballooning membrane wouldn't throw the tires off, said district spokeswoman Sheryl Miller.

No one is allowed on the Parker campus Wednesday. Parker staff will work at their alternate work sites on Wednesday.

Repairs should be completed by the time school resumes Monday, Miller said.

Miller said officials do not believe the day will have to be made up later.

The damage was in the southeast corner of the second story of the original school building. Officials did not know whether that portion of the roof was new because of the recent referendum project.

Schroeder said officials would check to see if the roof is under warranty.

School officials were alerted to a problem when water leaked into the building on Monday, damaging a few ceiling tiles and some textbooks in students' lockers, Schroeder said. School maintenance staff made a temporary repair to the roof membrane, and a roofing contractor was called.

Late Tuesday morning, maintenance staff discovered that the membrane had pulled away in another area of the roof. The wind funneled under the membrane, lifting it over a wide area of that part of the roof.

Workers hauled sacks of ice-melting salt to the roof to hold the membrane down. Old tires were added to the roof when the contractor—McDermaid's Roofing and Insulation of Rockford, Ill.— arrived with a truck and a crane around 1 p.m.

Parker sits on a hill and is often the windiest place in Janesville.

The roof over the schools' pool was damaged in a similar incident a number of years ago. In that incident, chunks of insulation were thrown off the roof.

Last updated: 3:07 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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