Roof on high school library suffers more storm damage

For the second time in as many months, strong winds ripped part of the roof off the school library, known as the media center, at Smoky Mountain High School in Jackson County.

Repairs are estimated at more than $700,000, Associate Superintendent Steve Jones said this week. The school’s insurance policy through the Department of Public Instruction is expected to cover the costs.

In April, winds during a strong storm lifted one section of the three-sectioned roof, damaging books in the nonfiction area. That part of the roof was temporarily repaired, Jones said, and the flooring replaced. The “temporary” portion of the roof hung in there during the second big storm earlier this month, remaining intact.

However, another section — in the middle this time — pulled loose, and water dumped in on 12 computers and the fiction selection, Jones said. The new flooring has to be replaced, too.

A structural engineer has evaluated the building, and determined it is safe, Jones said. The first storm most likely damaged the overall integrity of the media center’s roof, which is why the second storm ripped off yet another section.

The roof was built in 1963.

“Those were unusually strong winds,” Jones said. “It was just the luck of the draw.”

Repairs are scheduled to start soon.

— By Quintin Ellison

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