May 2, 2009

thoughts about the roof collapse

Over four months later, Capital High School continues to live in suspense.
We are still waiting to hear the results of the tests to the CHS roof trusses that collapsed on Christmas Day. We expect that these results will include recommendations from the structural engineers as to how to proceed with a permanent repair to the roof. As soon as we receive some information about these tests, we will share it with our CHS community. Thank you for your patience.
If you've followed the story, you know that CHS has been a little out of sorts since the roof collapsed, dealing with missed school--including cancellations two hours into the school day--and an overall sense of uncertainty compounded by the roiling financial situation and swine flu outbreak.

Despite all that, we can consider ourselves fortunate that the roof collapsed when the building was empty, so that no one sustained injury. Today's news out of the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Irving, Texas put this fact in sharp relief.
Winds that were just shy of tornado strength, and perhaps stronger, ripped through the roof during a rookie minicamp practice, essentially popping the so-called bubble. Between the falling debris and the furor to get out, special teams coach Joe DeCamillis broke his back and 11 more people were hospitalized.

About 60 others felt lucky to escape with only cuts and bruises....

The no-frills building was pretty much a 100-yard football field with a few more yards of clearance all the way around. The roof was 80 feet high, the equivalent of an eight-story building.

On Saturday, there were 27 players -- almost all drafted last weekend or signed as undrafted rookies -- working out when the storm hit. Also in the building were coaches, support staff and media.

Overhead lights swayed violently, prompting players, coaches, staff members and reporters to vacate the building. Several people were trying to exit the facility as the roof came down at about 4:30 p.m. ET.
Yesterday I greeted the "trusses are still being tested" announcement with a dissatisfied groan.

Not today.

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