Missoula’s Sentinel High School re-opens, roof still needs repair
It's back to class at Missoula's Sentinel High School this week, following a slightly extended Winter Break.
And while most of the students resumed their normal classes, the roof problems that cropped up before Christmas are still keeping some classes sidelined.
Sentinel was just about to start the holidays on December 19th when staff discovered "issues" with the roof in an older part of the building. The roof hadn't actually collapsed, or failed, but there were concerns about the structural integrity, and the school was closed for the following day, and the day after, as a safety precaution.
Part of the problem was not just the roof, but the fact that Missoula County Public Schools had to shut down utilities. An engineer was brought in to assess the situation, but because school was already on the verge of closing for Christmas, classes were also canceled on Wednesday the 20th.
Since then, provisions were made that allowed the rest of the campus to resume operations as scheduled Tuesday. MCPS spokeswoman Tyler Christensen tells Newstalk KGVO the beam in the small engines annex was "braced and the roof is now secure."
"However, we are being extra cautious and will not utilize those areas until the experts can ensure they are absolutely safe," she adds.
Christensen says the district isn't sure yet how long repairs might take, or long the shop areas could be impacted, but MCPS hopes to have an update for students, parents, and staff "in the near future."
The rooms that remain sidelined include the small engines area, wood shop, welding shop, ceramics room, and a pair of rooms that are used to teach various science and business classes. Christensen says those classes have been moved to alternate locations.