Waterloo elementary ceiling collapses

Multiple ceilings in Lowell Elementary School collapsed after the record-breaking snowfall, causing the school to close down for the year.

After recent record-breaking snowfall, Lowell Elementary School ceiling in Waterloo collapsed, causing relocation and further school cancelation. While no one was injured after this, they had to relocate buildings and leave supplies behind. 

Jane Lindaman, Waterloo Community Schools superintendent, said, “No one was injured, and we’re working to clean it up. Architects and engineers are looking to determine how to repair the damage best.” 

After surveying the area, they found that reconstruction will take months to complete; therefore, the Lowell building will not reopen until August for the start of the 2019-20 school year. 

After discussion, they decided to move into the old AEA building that has been vacant since last year. “Obviously, this unexpected damage to Lowell is not ideal, but we appreciate Central Rivers AEA offering the unused space at their former facility to accommodate our students and staff through the end of this school year,” Lindaman said. “Keeping the students and staff together to continue their curriculum and instruction in one alternate site was our hope, and this location serves our needs well considering the nearly 400 displaced students and staff.” 

AEA and Waterloo Schools’ administrators were there Friday morning after the collapse working out the logistics of the move, accompanied by maintenance and information technology staff. Temporary signage is being planned within the building and at the entrance, and officials are working out the details of bus drop-offs and pick-ups at the location. Lindaman praised the cooperation of the AEA in getting Lowell students back to school. “I am absolutely grateful to Chief Administrator Sam Miller and the Central Rivers staff for stepping up as they did,” she said. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner. They have offered all kinds of support. We feel like they’re standing with us and that’s great.”

Because student supplies cannot be moved from the old building, the school is in need of school supplies such as plastic shoebox-sized containers with lids to hold them, and non-perishable snacks (animal crackers, pretzels, etc.), backpacks and gym shoes for students. Anyone can donate and drop them off at the Education Service Center, 1516 Washington Street, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays or at any of the other elementary schools in the district from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.

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