Thurston High to start year without new gym after roof collapse

Heavy, wet snow caused a support beam inside the school's auxiliary gym to come crashing down on Feb. 27.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 6:48 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 6:48 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Construction to replace a gym at Thurston High School that was damaged during February's winter storm is underway, but it won't be finished until the end of the calendar year, according to the project manager.

Heavy, wet snow caused a support beam inside the school's auxiliary gym to come crashing down on Feb. 27. Because of the partial roof collapse, the old gym had to be demolished.

RELATED: THURSTON GYM ROOF COLLAPSES; BOARD DECLARES EMERGENCY

The project manager told KEZI 9 News they had to take out the old gym's foundation and have been doing other work. He said they plan on pouring the concrete for the new foundation in the next several weeks and they're running on schedule.

A spokeswoman for the Springfield School District told KEZI they have been able to adjust the calendars of the groups that use the gym to support their programs and don't expect any major impacts. They said insurance is covering the cost beyond the $25,000 deductible.

Halle Hester, who's getting ready to start her senior year, said they will have to make do and is looking forward to the new gym.

"It's not going to be there, so we'll have to make it work," Hester said. "I think it's a good restart for everyone, and I'm excited to see it."

Bobbie Grey, who has a grandson at Thurston, said that while not having the gym open by the start of the school year is an inconvenience, she'd rather have it safe than ready now. 

"I'm more concerned that they build it correctly and safety than have it done too quickly," Grey said.

The school year at Thurston High School starts Sept. 4 for freshman and Sept. 5 for the rest of the student body.

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