Waggoner roof-collapse update – Possible long-term effects worry some parents

Kyrene schools superintendent Dr. David Schauer met with a crowd of concerned parents at a swiftly coordinated meeting March 18 to address questions about the collapse of the roof on the multipurpose room at C.I. Waggoner Elementary School.

Schauer candidly shared what is known thus far about the collapse, explaining that, at this early stage in the investigation, speculation is all the district is able to offer.

Parents said they wanted answers about what the future holds, not only for their own children but for the safety of other schools in the district. Schauer described the district’s policy of quarterly visual inspections completed by district employees, the most recent of which was done at Waggoner in February with no indication of abnormalities.

Parent Leo Mendez, father of both a first grader and an incoming kindergartner, praised the district’s quick response in the crisis but voiced concern about the structural integrity of this and other facilities in the district.

Policies are being reexamined to be sure that the safety of the children enrolled in the Kyrene district come first and foremost, said Schauer.

The question-and-answer session went on for more than an hour, with many of the questions relating to possible long-term effects of the situation, mold seeming to capture the most attention.

The issue has been addressed and the area affected by water is being professionally treated; mold testing will be ongoing in the months and years ahead, according to Schauer.

While the forensic investigation is under way, the school is operating smoothly, Schauer said. Classes that have been effected have been relocated to the media center and Kyrene Middle School, he noted.

As soon as permits are obtained, a temporary, climate-controlled structure will be erected on the premises to serve as a multipurpose room.

The district is working to minimize disruption for students even working with the state to possibly amend AIMS testing dates if necessary, Schauer said.

More information is available on the district website, www.kyrene.org

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