Throughout the day, Wooster City School District officials scrambled to determine the cause of the damage and make repairs to the historic building that was converted into an elementary school in 1996 when the new Wooster High School opened its doors.
“We’re actually still trying to determine what it was,” said David Kocevar, Wooster City School District director of business and community affairs during a telephone interview on the afternoon of August 24.
“We do know one thing. Whether it was weather related or not we had our capstones on the side of the roof on the west end of Cornerstone slide off. As they fell a couple of them fell through a lower roof/vestibule area down below,” said Kocevar.
According to Kocevar, the damage occurred “right around 5:30 or 6 this morning.”
“We’re suspecting that it might be weather related because right during that time frame we had thunderstorms come through with lightning,” said Kocevar.
“Immediately the mind jumps to that as a cause. Whether it was that or not we will be getting with our insurance company and trying to determine that,” Kocevar added.
He noted that Sharon Ferguson, Cornerstone Elementary school principal, and Superintendent Michael Tefs were both contacted immediately and came to the school to survey the damage.
Bogner Construction was at the site quickly and immediately began making repairs.
“At least half of the repairs are already complete, with some brick work and some flashing that they are going to do on that side of the building,” said Kocevar. “The roof repair on the lower roof is going to occur in a couple of days but we have things temporarily covered up till then.”
There were no reports of injuries and classes at Cornerstone Elementary went on as scheduled on August 24.
“It didn’t affect anything inside the building at all,” said Kocevar, noting that the area affected was the west vestibule going into Cornerstone Elementary School off the parking lot between the Cornerstone Annex and Cornerstone Elementary School.
The area in question is used as an entrance for staff members and some students.
“We still had access to egress from the building through that area once we secured loose bricks and debris from up above,” said Kocevar.
“What we did this morning is because we have some big equipment in there repairing stuff. From the outside we have that taped off so they could go around to a more secure entrance,” Kocevar added.
The roof area affected by the incident was not classroom space but rather the lower level of a stairwell at the end of a hallway.
According to damage estimates released by the district on August 29, the building experienced $10,000 in damage during the incident.
As of August 29, the cause of the damage was still under investigation.
Published: August 30, 2011