Norris School reopens after snowfall damage
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Wed., Feb. 16, 2011
The Anna E. Norris School reopened on Feb.15, having been closed for three consecutive school days after the roof suffered structural damage from the recent heavy snowfall.
A custodian noticed some damage to the roof and reported it to school authorities on Feb. 9. East Hartford School Superintendent Mark F. Zito visited Norris that day and ordered that the school be closed while the damage was inspected. Classes were suspended for the next three school days. .
Albert Costa, facilities director and a certified structural engineer, made an inspection of the roof and found that the roof truss in the west wing of the school had cracked under the weight of the snow piled on the roof.
A construction firm went to work to remove a portion of the pitched roof that had sustained damage, Zito said. "That plan was put into place with approval from building department officials and the local fire marshal.’’
While record snowfall collapsed the roofs of several school buildings across the state, the Norris school is the only one in East Hartford to sustain significant structural damage that required the school to close.
The repairs to the school could take up to a month to complete, Costa said. “The repairs will consist of installing a truss roof with asphalt shingles over the area of the roof that was just removed. We anticipate this can be completed within a 30-45 day period.’’
Costa said the repairs will include an interior redesign of the roof to prevent the problem from occurring again. Costa said there is no cost estimate for the project at this time, but the town's property insurance carrier will pay most of the cost.
“The redesign includes a thorough engineering analysis to first determine the cause of the truss failure,’’ he said. “The new roof structure will meet the required engineering loads, however from the exterior, the new roof line will dovetail to the remaining roof that exists and it will not appear any different.”