BEND, Ore. - Rain fell atop tall piles of snow and snowy roads around much of the High Desert Wednesday, prompting several school districts to delay classes, while 10 Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools remained closed for removal of heavy snow from their roofs.
Jefferson County 509-J planned a 2-hour delay but later instead called a closure for the day. Among schools on a two-hour delay: Sisters and COCC's Bend campus, as well as Sisters Christian Academy. Culver schools had buses on snow routes. In Crook County, Brothers and Paulina schools were closed, but others were on regular schedules.
Madras and La Pine NeighborImpact Head Start also were closed, as are Oregon Child Development Coalition classes in Madras and Culver.
All but eight Bend-La Pine and two Redmond schools were reopening Wednesday after several days of rooftop removal of heavy snowfall and safety inspections for any structural damage.
In Bend-La Pine, schools that won’t yet reopen due to work not yet complete include Elk Meadow, Lava Ridge, Pine Ridge, Ponderosa and W.E. Miller elementary schools and Pacific Crest, Pilot Butte and REALMS middle schools. In the Redmond district, the Tumalo and Terrebonne community schools won’t open because snow removal isn’t done.
NewsChannel 21 also received word that Gilchrist School closed at noon Tuesday and will remain closed Wednesday to continue snow removal efforts.
The REACH program in Redmond will be open Wednesday, as will the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend that serve the eight still-closed schools, officials said.
Samara Learning Center in Bend will be open but on early release schedule at 1 p.m.
Please send any other notices of school or other program.event closures, delays, cancellations or openings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the full announcement from Bend-La Pine Schools.
“What an outstanding community of parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors we have,” said Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “I know that having so many days off has been challenging for families and we appreciate your patience and understanding.”
Mikalson said that thanks to the determination of more than 150 snow removal team members, 12 structural engineers and dozens of staff who have worked behind the scenes or volunteered their time, Bend-La Pine Schools will reopen 30 schools, programs and facilities tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18.
The following schools will open Wednesday at their regular time.
Administration – Education Center
Amity Creek at Thompson School
Bear Creek Elementary
High Lakes Elementary
Highland at Kenwood School
La Pine Elementary
R.E. Jewell Elementary
Silver Rail Elementary
Three Rivers Elementary
Westside Village at Kingston School
High Desert Middle
La Pine Middle
Sky View Middle
Bend Senior High
La Pine High
Mountain View High
Transportation, La Pine
Warehouse – Distribution
Bend International School
For this week, students will be released on Wednesday per their school’s full day schedule, rather than the usual School Improvement Wednesday schedule.
“Giving students a full day tomorrow with their peers and school staff will begin to get them back into their normal school routine and will let our great teachers have a full day with their students,” said Mikalson.
Athletics and activities are being rescheduled with adjusted dates and times for all schools.
“Engineers have completed structural evaluations of all 38 school and work sites for structural integrity,” said Mikalson. “They have now deemed all sites as structurally sound.”
Mikalson said engineers found one school, R.E. Jewell Elementary, to have had structural damage. Repairs are now complete and structural engineers and City of Bend staffers have deemed the school sound and ready to reopen to students tomorrow.
While all sites are now deemed structurally sound, not all sites are yet ready for occupancy. To be cleared, snow loads must be below design capacity and all doors must be cleared to allow compliance with State Fire Marshal code.
Mikalson said that of the eight schools yet to open, crews are continuing to move snow off of roofs and away from buildings, so that they can be ready for occupancy.
“These schools will be opened in the days to come, we will keep updating our community at about 5 p.m. each night with new information,” said Mikalson. “Again, thank you to everyone for their support and flexibility during these trying times. We are excited to get back to doing what we do best: teaching students.”
“I know that many Kenwood families and neighbors have been anxiously awaiting the results of the asbestos test that we sent to a local lab,” said Mikalson. “Results received today confirmed that there was no asbestos in the Kenwood gym and therefore is no asbestos present in the demolition rubble. I think this information will allow many to breathe a sigh of relief.”
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit: http://www.bend.k12.or.us/
The district has started a Facebook thread to allow business owners a location to share suggestions for keeping students who are not going to school busy in the days to come. It is located at http://bit.ly/2k2pEGN
And here’s the Tuesday evening update from the Redmond School District:
With huge thanks to the crews working diligently around the clock, a number of our schools have been cleared for occupancy. Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18th, we will be running a regular school schedule for all schools except Tumalo and Terrebonne Community Schools.
Additionally, Redmond Early Learning Center (RELC) was on standby until crews complete the snow removal process; they announced Tuesday night the project was complete and RELC would be on normal schedule Wednesday.
Tumalo and Terrebonne will remain closed to staff and students until snow removal is complete. All other schools will operate on a regular schedule including athletics, programs and activities.
Our crews will continue snow removal at Tumalo and crews will be transitioning to Terrebonne tonight. Both of these buildings require snow removal in areas which are very difficult to access. All other schools have had snow removed as advised by our engineers.
Some buildings required a large amount of snow and ice removal, while others only needed spot or drift removal in areas of concern due to the heavy water content (weight) of this snow. Ground crews have also removed the snow away from buildings to help prevent seepage issues as melt-off occurs.
The schools where snow has been removed as advised by our engineers and are ready for occupancy include:
· M.A. Lynch Elementary
· John Tuck Elementary
· Vern Patrick Elementary
· Tom McCall Elementary
· Sage Elementary
· Obsidian Middle School
· Elton Gregory Middle School
· Redmond High School
· Ridgeview High School
· Edwin Brown Education Center
We are pleased to share that our schools have not experienced any structural damage. Tomorrow, as contractors continue with snow removal efforts at our community schools, our RSD crew’s focus will turn toward snow melt and runoff management.
We anticipate that our schools will most likely experience some level of leakage as a result of ice dams, warm temperatures and snow runoff. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into the building.
"We have been ensured by our engineers that evidence of water leaks are not signs that a roof has been structurally compromised. We do anticipate some leaking and seepage throughout the coming days.
"Again, thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Your messages of support have been appreciated," Redmond's announcement concluded
Meanwhile, late Tuesday. Bend-La Pine schools posted an updated question-and-answer list about the snow removal and safety efforts:
Snow Removal and Snow Removal and Engineering Assessments: