Fanning closed due to leaks

By Lois Ann Dort    

HAZEL HILL – On Monday morning heavy rainfall hit the Canso area after a recent snowfall, resulting in significant stress on the roof infrastructure of Fanning Education Centre / Canso Academy. Leaks began to appear in parts of the facility in the morning, resulting in large puddles on the floor in some areas by the time students arrived for classes at 8:30 a.m. The school board and school administration assessed the situation and decided to send all students home due to safety concerns at 11 a.m.

Monday afternoon FEC / CA Principle Jeff George sent a message to parents and guardians regarding the situation via the school alert system. The message stated, “Today, due to roof leaks in our school, we dismissed students at 11:00 a.m. School staff along with School Board Operations staff were onsite throughout the day investigating the cause, conducting initial repairs and cleaning up the area. A roofing contractor will be onsite tomorrow to continue the repairs.”

On Tuesday, SRSB Coordinator of Communications Deanna Gillis answered questions posed by The Journal about the incident via email. She wrote, “At the start of the day, it appeared that we could operate safely while restricting access to the affected area of the building but as a result of the amount of rain, and to ensure student and staff safety, a decision was made to dismiss at 11:00 a.m.

“The cause was determined to be the result of melting of the snow and ice build-up along with the rising temperatures and large volume of rain. The majority of the leaks occurred in the old section of of the school near the cafeteria/fitness centre area. There were minor leaks in the new section.”

Both George and Gillis noted that the school had been scheduled for repairs and significant upgrades will occur when the weather permits.

Gillis added, “As always, the safety of students and staff is of utmost importance and we will continue to ensure that our students and staff are in a safe and secure learning environment.”