Following gym collapse, Burlington school welcomes students back to classes

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Published August 23, 2023 at 8:35 pm

Students will return to a Burlington school in September but without a gymnasium that was destroyed when the roof collapsed.

The 450 students of Glenview Public School will have to receive their physical education elsewhere as plans are underway to replace the gym that received extensive damage early in July when the roof caved in.

According to the Halton District School Board (HDSB), the rest of the school has been deemed safe for classes to resume on time and expect few interruptions as the way forward is determined.

“The safety and well-being of students and staff is our highest priority – we want to reiterate that our school would not open if there was a danger to students and staff,” notes a message on the Glenview webpage. “A complete structural assessment of Glenview PS was performed by a third-party structural engineer during the week of July 3 to ensure the safety of the school for students and staff to return in September. The result of this structural assessment has confirmed that the building is safe.”

The reason behind the collapsed roof is not known or has yet to be revealed. It happened across two days beginning on July 2. However, in June the area was declared off-limits when school officials became concerned over the structural integrity of the gym when cracks and broken drywall began to appear. The complete demolition and clean-up of the gym area has since taken place.

According to the HDSB the roof was replaced in 2017 and is inspected every six months.

The design of the Glenview gym was unique in that it used wooden trusses, unlike other schools in the system that have a combination of materials including concrete, steel and wood trusses. The roofs of other schools in the HDSB have now been inspected.

Since the gym collapse the school has “undergone an inspection of all classrooms and other spaces to ensure the remainder of the school is structurally sound and safe for returning staff, students, and community,” the board continued on the website.

Still, that news didn’t spark confidence in some who pointed out the gym roof was deemed safe during its twice-yearly inspections.

“They thought the gym roof was safe so how can they be so sure about the rest of the school?” asked a parent who has a child at the school. “I mean, they don’t even know what caused the gym to collapse.”

The parent, who asked for their name to be withheld, told inhalton.com they trust the decision-making process at the school and believe that safety is a priority, but they would like more answers.

The HDSB has stated it will continue to communicate with parents through emails and the school’s website.

In the meantime, the gym area has been fenced off and is being supervised while the board negotiates with insurers and the Ministry of Education to determine where the funds will come from to replace the gym and when the rebuild will take place.

Located on Townsend Ave., the Glenview opened in 1969. It houses students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6.

 

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