Roof collapses at Jefferson Co. H.S. building

11:47 PM, Jul 7, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Roof collapses at Jefferson Co. H.S. building

Roof collapses at Jefferson Co. High School building

(WBIR - Dandridge) No one was hurt after part of the roof of East Tennessee High school building collapsed Sunday.

The incident occured at Jefferson County High School around 12:30p.m.

Assistant High School Principal Randy Rogers said the affected area was "Building 8", which is one of the high school's vocational buildings.

He said one classroom, used for drama activites at the school, was pretty much destroyed.

"We've had roof issues with leaking, but nothing, nothing to this magnitude," he said.

Rogers said Building 8 was built in 1976 and had a "flat roof." He said he believed the roof likely collapsed as a result of the week's heavy rains.

"Thank God it happened on a Sunday," he said. "Nobody's here, nobody's hurt."

But, authorities are still trying to pinpoint the incident's exact cause.

"We found over a foot of water just standing on top of the rear of the building," said Dandridge Volunteer Fire Department Chief Andy Riley.

His department was joined by the Jefferson City Fire Department, Knox County Rescue Squad and Jefferson County Rescue Squad in the response effort.

"We still have a danger of a possible wall that may still be collapsing, we're working with the school system and they're going to be addressing that issue," he said.

Another issue remains too. Riley said crews discovered a building adjacent to the roof collapse also suffered a major roof leak as well.

The roof collapse interested many people on the 10News Facebook page. Viewers from the Jefferson County area left more than 80 comments regarding the issue and the overall structural integrity of the high school campus.

For years, the campus had been at the center of discussion in the community. Many people had complained of overcrowding issues at that school.

However, in 2012, the county school system got $25 million to renovate the school.

School Board member Randy Bradley said work began this summer. He said building was supposed to receive upgrades to its roof.

Bradley said the school system will soon meet to figure out what should happen next.

"I'm sure at this board meeting Thursday night [July 11], we'll have to address some of the issues that happened here," he said.

"Again, it's just an act of nature. Nobody's fault, just a lot of water on the roof."

Rogers told 10News his is hopeful the school can start repairs as soon as possible.

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