Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools will be closed again on Tuesday as snow removal efforts continue. Bend-La Pine's superintendent said they hope to begin a "rolling schedule" of school reopenings the reset of the week, as more roofs are cleared of snow.
Here's the 6 p.m. announcement from Bend-La Pine Schools:
More than 150 maintenance and custodial crews, in partnership with local contractors, continued work today to clear snow from Bend-La Pine Schools' rooftops.
"These men and women continue to make progress, and we hope to begin a rolling opening of schools on Wednesday," said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. "We will be closed tomorrow to continue snow removal that will prepare us for an opening of some schools on Wednesday, followed by additional schools each day this week."
As of Monday afternoon, a status list showed snow removal was complete at nine school locations, in progress at a dozen others and scheduled at 12 other schools.
The document listing school status will be updated daily on the district website's Alerts and Updates page (www.bend.k12.or.us/district/news-events/alerts-updates) at about 5 p.m. until work is complete.
Redmond schools will remain closed Tuesday because crews need at least another day to clear snow from roofs and make sure everything’s safe and ready. The school superintendent said late Monday they have “high hopes” of resuming classes on Wednesday.
Due to the unusual nature of the closure, not all schools will follow suit. St. Thomas Academy in Redmond plans to resume classes Tuesday, as will St. Francis of Assisi in Bend.
NeighborImpact Head Start will be closed at La Pine Elementary and at M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond; all others will run on regular schedules, officials said. Samara Learning Center (school and tutoring) in Bend also will be closed.
There also will be no Bend Parks and Rec KIDS INC. before- and after-school programs Tuesday due to the school cancellations. However, the Boys & Girls Club of Bend will be open for a full day of programming.
Other schools open Tuesday include Morning Star Christian School in Bend and High Desert Montessori in Redmond.
Gilchrist School closed early Tuesday, at noon, and will be closed Wednesday. After consulting with an engineer, the Klamath County School District made the decision to take Wednesday to remove snow from the school’s roof, officials said.
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Here’s the message sent to staff and parents late Monday by Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh:
“Despite massive around-the-clock snow removal efforts, crews and engineers need an additional day to ensure schools are safe for students to return. For that reason, all Redmond School District buildings will be closed again Tuesday, January 17th, 2017; this includes all classes, athletics, and activities.
“Over the course of the last four days, we have had over 110 crew members on the job removing snow and ice, working as fast as possible to make our schools safe again. There are still a number of our schools with “watch spots” where snow loads need to be lessened, as advised by the engineers. We need additional time to remove the snow off roofs and away from buildings without students or staff nearby. As we complete the advised snow removal from each building, the engineers will return to conduct a final walk through.
“We have made considerable progress and I appreciate the efforts of all of those working long hours in frigid conditions to make it happen. If you happened to drive by Lynch or Obsidian this weekend, they were lit up like a Friday night football game as crews worked well into the night pushing snow from the roof. The mountains of snow that built up on the ground then have to be moved and piled away from the building in order to lessen the chances of seepage into buildings as melting occurs. We do anticipate that our schools will experience some level of leakage as a result of the storm and the amount of snow runoff. Evidence of water on the ceiling does not mean the roof has been compromised or that students are in danger.
“The good news so far is that our engineers have not found any structural damage. As the snow was removed, the sagging roofs have returned to their normal positions and ceiling tiles have been restored. Additional good news is that the National Weather Service has reduced the threat of rain predicted to fall this week, although rising temperatures will still require runoff to be monitored closely. Most ground water drain systems are still buried beneath snow and ice, and our district maintenance and custodial team is already working to clear paths for water to travel away from buildings and into drain systems.
“Again, as I have continued to share throughout the past couple of weeks, I so appreciate the patience and understanding our families, staff and community members have demonstrated as we face these challenging times. “Having multiple school closures is a huge disruption to families with work, daycare, and transportation. We will continue to place student and staff safety at the top of our list while managing our school calendar to maximize student learning.
“Our crews and contractors will continue to clear snow for the remainder of today and tomorrow. Engineers will arrive tomorrow to conduct an updated evaluation of each school building. We have high hopes to resume school on Wednesday, January 18th. We will provide an update by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.”