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Support beam collapses at Thurston High gym due to heavy snow

Chief Operations Officer Brett Yancey wrote the failure resulted in significant damage to the integrity of the roof, walls and floor of the gym.

Posted: Feb 28, 2019 7:18 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2019 1:11 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Heavy, wet snow caused a support beam inside Thurston High School's auxiliary gym to come crashing down on Wednesday.

Jenna McCulley with Springfield Public Schools said it was first noticed by staff members who heard a cracking noise and no one was hurt.

McCulley said on Thursday they had four different teams checking on all district buildings to make sure they are safe.

"That would be something we would pause a return to school until we can be confident that those locations are safe," McCulley said.

McCulley said because the damage impacts the fire exit to Thurston High's main gym they are moving this weekend's state basketball tournament to Springfield High School.

Also in response to the incident, the school board is expected to enter into an emergency declaration on Friday, allowing them to waive the bidding process so they can do repairs more quickly.

In a letter to the board outlining the reason for the declaration, Chief Operations Officer Brett Yancey wrote the failure resulted in significant damage to the integrity of the roof, walls and floor of the gym. Until further investigation, the extent of the damage or the needed repairs is unknown.

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