February 18, 2014 at 6:23 PM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Columbia Middle School students were relocated during the day today due to concerns of water leaking into a hallway due to weight of snow on a section of the roof over the "Old B Wing."
"The structure is still standing, there is no collapse of roof and no collapse of ceiling," said Superintendent Judy Rattner.
The area in question is the hallway that leads to four foreign language classrooms that also contains 60 student lockers. The hallway is blocked off with caution tape and gates and the eighth grade students were unable to retrieve their personal belongings.
"Because our primary concern is for student safety, until further notice, classes scheduled for those rooms will meet in alternate locations," according to district website. The students were moved to the cafeteria and library and will be relocated to classrooms for the remainder of the year, said Rattner.
Berkeley Heights Police and Fire Department responded to the call along with the building inspector. The building architect and structural engineer arrived at 2 p.m. to inspect and look at the original plans to figure out the best way to deal with the issue moving forward said Rattner.
With additional concern of the snow melting and re-freezing in the coming days, the engineers are making sure the drains are cleared.
"We are fortunate that there was not a collapse and everyone is safe," said Rattner.