Jun 4, 2009

breaking: Capital HS to open on schedule this September

This just in, from Capital's principal, Nancy Faaren, via email:
June 5, 2009

Dear Capital High School Students, Staff and Families:

As you can imagine, all of us at Capital have been eager to hear the results of the tests on the roof trusses so that we can begin to move forward. Earlier this week, officials from the Olympia School District and I met with our structural engineer to hear their preliminary conclusions based on the tests they have performed thus far on the trusses. Here is what we know as of today:
  • Capital High School will operate as scheduled for the 2009-2010 school year. Our first day of school will be September 9th, the same as all the other schools in the District.
  • Contractors will work during the summer to finish repairs on the library and visual communications rooms. They will also complete the finish work throughout the school that was left over from the repairs this winter. At this point, we anticipate that all of this work will be completed before the first day of school.
  • Contractors will reinforce the gussets that support the roof trusses in several areas. The structural engineers have not definitively determined all of the factors that may have led to the roof collapse. Obviously, the extreme weight of the record heavy snowfall caused the failure. It also appears some of the trusses were not constructed as designed, hence the work this summer to reinforce some of the gussets. The posts that were built as part of the roof repair work this winter will remain in place as an additional precaution to provide extra support under the heaviest mechanical units.
  • Based on the test results, the Olympia School District will be working with the City of Olympia to amend the occupancy permit to allow Capital High School to remain open with a snow load of approximately 5 inches. This would bring us in line with the rest of the schools in the District as past practice has been to close schools when snow accumulations reach that level (or many times, less than 5 inches).
  • As an additional precaution, the Olympia School District is reviewing the feasibility of installing a snow melting system on the roof, similar to one that is used on buildings with flat roofs in the mountain passes. We will know more about this in the weeks ahead.
The long term plan for the roof is still under development. Tests on the remaining trusses will be completed this week. We expect to have a final report and recommendations from the structural engineers in the next couple of weeks. As soon as I receive that report, I will make sure it is posted to our Capital High School website for your review.

Once we have received the report and recommendations, we will work with District staff to evaluate the options for any remaining work that will need to take place to permanently fix the roof.
That we could be open on time, and on as normal a schedule as is roofly possible, is a relief.

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