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Crews repair school, downtown building after windstorm

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Crews work to install a temporary waterproofing membrane at Sierra Middle School Friday. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Repairs and precautionary measures were underway Friday to remedy a couple of school and building problems resulting from the severe winds in the area Wednesday.

Roswell school district

A crane is positioned downtown early Friday morning to begin work removing torn and damaged metal from the exterior of the Sunwest Centre office building at 500 N. Main St. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The Roswell Independent School District experienced two roofing problems from the storm, according to the superintendent, but overall had few impacts from the winds.

“We weathered the storm,” said Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy, explaining that the gusts and sustained high winds did not close schools or alter bus schedules and that students made it through the day safely.

“We had to make some adjustments, always wanting to keep student safety first and foremost,” she said, “and we felt like we did that. We did allow parents to come pick up their kids if they felt like that was the safest thing to do.”

She said students were also kept inside buildings for the day.

The most significant issue involved the roof at Sierra Middle School on South Sycamore Avenue.

A waterproofing membrane blew off during the high winds, McIlroy said, but the actual roof was not damaged.

She said she is not sure of the repair costs at this time.

“Of course, we have insurance coverage and we have already submitted that claim and are working on that,” McIlroy said.

Crews were working Friday to put a temporary membrane on the roof so that any future rainfall would not damage floors.

The superintendent added that the wind also blew off a walkway installed across the membrane roof covering of Sunset Elementary School on O’Connor Road.

School staff are still assessing what repairs, if any, will be made to that school.

“I am not sure if that (walkway) is absolutely essential to the structure or not,” she said. “I think it was more of a protection for the roof and maybe ease of access to air conditioning units and that kind of thing; so it may be, but we haven’t made that decision yet.”

Sunwest Centre

A crane and crews began working about 7 a.m. Friday to remove metal from the exterior of the Sunwest Centre office building at 500 N. Main St.

The city closed a couple of blocks of downtown North Main from Sixth to Fourth streets for the day to allow the crane and other repair vehicles in the street, and as a safety precaution.

The work was expected to be completed by about 3 p.m. Friday, according to building manager Ed McClelland. The building owner is Roswell Properties LLC Ltd., based in Ohio.

“It is just lightweight aluminum stripping,” he said, “but anything falling off a building could cause a problem.”

The metal began to tear about 11 a.m. Wednesday, he said, which was about the time the power went out. The power outage resulted in most tenants leaving the building for the afternoon, McClelland said.

Later that day, some metal did begin to fall, but no people, property or vehicles were damaged as a result, as far as McClelland is aware. The Roswell Police Department did block off North Main Street around the building as a precaution Wednesday afternoon.

McClelland said there was some minor damage to the building’s roof, as well, but is not aware of any other building problems due to the wind.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.