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Snow loads, forecast may delay Bend-La Pine schools reopening


Despite work through the weekend to remove heavy snow from the roofs of Bend-La Pine schools, there’s still a lot to do. With rain forecast and new issues starting to arise – such as damaged roof trusses at R.E. Jewell Elementary – the superintendent said late Sunday they are “less optimistic” classes will resume Tuesday for some or all students.

School district spokeswoman Julianne Repman told NewsChannel 21 that an inspection found roof trusses over the media center at the southeast Bend school had been damaged by the heavy snow load on the roof, prompting immediate repairs that began Sunday and will continue Monday.

Meanwhile, engineering evaluations conducted at all school district facilities found “possible areas of concern” at Bear Creek Elementary at Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School. Engineers are due back at those schools Monday to complete additional assessments.

Here’s Sunday evening’s full daily update from school officials:

Maintenance and custodial crews, in partnership with local contractors, worked throughout the day again Sunday to continue clearing snow from Bend-La Pine Schools’ rooftops.

“A huge thank you to the community for their outpouring of support for our teams today,” said Executive Director of Facilities Mike Tiller. “We had students come by with cards and posters, while families, businesses and churches came by with cakes, cookies, pizzas and more.”

“Work is progressing on rooftop snow removal,” Tiller said. “There is now concern mounting regarding the changing weather forecast. The region is expected to see warming temperatures and rain, which may result in flooding to our area in the next few days.”

“Due to the amount of snow that still remains on schools and the forecasted flooding, we are less optimistic that we will be able to resume classes for some, if not all, students on Tuesday,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson.

“If the anticipated rain and dramatic warming do occur, we could see water coming through our windows and doors and under thresholds of our schools,” he added. “In addition to the 150 workers already clearing the roofs, we have mobilized seven excavation crews tomorrow to start prepping for the next wave of weather challenges.”

Tiller said engineers have completed evaluations of all 37 school and work sites for structural stability. He said engineers deemed 34 sites structurally sound and found one site, R.E. Jewell Elementary, to have structural damage. Repairs to this school began Sunday.

Additionally, results of the district-wide engineering evaluation found possible areas of concern at Bear Creek Elementary and at Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School. Engineers are scheduled to return to these schools to complete additional assessments Monday.

“We have been in close communication with our partners at the city and county, who are urging homeowners, business owners and schools to direct melting snow away from structures and clear storm drains and swales,” Tiller added.

Tiller said that volunteers are welcome to pitch in on Tuesday as teams fill sandbags that will be used around school sites. (To volunteer, contact Anne Birky at 541-355-4700.)

For more information from our community partners about how to prepare homes for the anticipated snow melt and for flood prevention tips, visit Flash Alert (

Bend-La Pine Schools also have an alerts and updates page at:

January 15, 2017: 4:00 PM
Snow removal status

Administration 1/12/17 Complete
Amity Creek 1/12/17 Complete
Bear Creek 1/12/17 Complete
Buckingham 1/12/17 Complete
Elk Meadow 1/13/17 Scheduled
Ensworth 1/12/17 Complete
High Lakes 1/13/17 Scheduled
Highland/Kenwood 1/12/17 Complete
Juniper 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
La Pine Elementary 1/12/17 Scheduled
Lava Ridge 1/13/17 Scheduled
Pine Ridge 1/13/17 Scheduled
Ponderosa 1/13/17 Scheduled
RE Jewell 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
Rosland 1/12/17 Scheduled
Silver Rail 1/13/17 Scheduled
Three Rivers 1/13/17 Scheduled
WE Miller 1/13/17 Scheduled
Westside Village / Kingston 1/12/17 Complete
Cascade 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
High Desert 1/13/17 Complete
La Pine Middle 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
Pacific Crest 1/13/17 Scheduled
Pilot Butte 1/12/17 Scheduled
REALMS 1/13/17 Scheduled
Sky View 1/13/17 Scheduled
Bend High 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
La Pine High 1/13/17 Snow Removal In Progress
Marshall 1/12/17 Complete
Mt. View 1/12/17 Snow Removal In Progress
Summit 1/13/17 Snow Removal In Progress
Tamarack 1/13/17 Scheduled
Transition 1/13/17 Scheduled
Maintenance 1/13/17 Not Necessary
Transportation Bend 1/12/17 Not Necessary
Transportation La Pine 1/12/17 Not Necessary
Warehouse-Distribution 1/12/17 Not Necessary

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