School Closes for One Month following Roof Collapse

The city used drones earlier this year to survey roofs after record snowfall.

Yesterday we may have basked in the light of an imminent spring, but the melting snow was too much for Brown Elementary School, where a roof collapse has closed the school for one month. In the meantime, students will be redistributed among area schools. The collapse, which happened late Tuesday evening, brought snow and debris into a second floor girls’ bathroom. The building was empty at the time, so there were no injuries.

In a joint statement from the city, Mayor Curtatone and Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi said that the students’ safety was their top priority and that all schools, including Brown, were evaluated for safety before, during and after the snow removal process. The matter is still being investigated, but the city believes that it was a combination of rotting wood and the melting of less than one foot of snow that caused the collapse. Classes are canceled today but will resume as soon as possible at alternative locations. Parents can attend an informational meeting on the temporary relocation of students tonight at 6:30 at the East Somerville Community School.

The city drew attention earlier this year for its use of drones to help survey roofs of municipal buildings. Somerville schools also closed for a week in February due to concerns about the unsafe accumulation.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that classes will resume on Friday. They will resume as soon as possible, pending the preparation of the alternative locations.

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