Partial roof collapse leaves Polson with one less school gym - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Partial roof collapse leaves Polson with one less school gym

Posted: Jan 09, 2018 09:30 AM Updated: Jan 09, 2018 09:40 AM
MTN News MTN News

POLSON - A partial roof collapse has left Linderman Gymnasium in Polson on lockdown.

The facility is a pivotal piece to the Polson community with a majority of high school athletics being held in the gym, leaving school administrators many questions to answer.

Heavy snow and winter weather lead to this partial roof collapse on Saturday when a low protective barrier along the edge of a roof gave way from the weight of snow build-up. 

Polson Superintendent Rex Weltz has met with engineers and is in the beginning stages of restoring this community staple.

“We are securing these walls that are hanging vicariously over the edge. I want to get those secure," Weltz said. "I want to get the snow off of the lower locker rooms and get in and get the equipment out. Once we do that, we’ll start making plans on how we are going to bring it back to life."

Unsure of the exact rebuilding timeline, Weltz says the school has set up 600 feet of panel fencing surrounding the gymnasium to help keep students and Polson residents out of harm’s way.

Now, as the classrooms and student space is a separate structure from the gymnasium, engineers want to reassure parents their kids are safe attending Linderman Elementary.

As for the gymnasium and locker rooms, they have been locked down and Polson is currently looking to relocate their athletics.

"One, losing a structure -- a gym in our community -- puts tremendous amount of stress on everyone. It’s one less place that little kids can have UA basketball. It’s a place that our teams can’t practice," Weltz said. 

Athletes aren’t the only ones going to be affected by the partial collapse. Elementary school students will have to adjust their daily routine, as PE, library and band took place in this facility.

Despite temporarily losing a hub for the Polson community, Weltz said the teachers are turning this unfortunate situation into a learning moment.

“I have a great staff and full heartily believe in their ability. There making it work. It’s not the ideal situation," Weltz said. "Today I watched a teacher out explaining the whole event… it was a learning experience."

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