DES MOINES, Iowa – The overnight storm caused damage to two Des Moines schools and the district to close the schools early Friday.
Hoover High School and Meredith Middle School dismissed at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Hail caused damage to the roofs of the schools, making some spaces unusable. Initially, some classes were moved to other rooms so repairs could be made.
Spokesperson Amanda Lewis said the situation “is getting progressively worse.” Students were sent home with boxed lunches. Those who ride the bus had transportation, and there are no evening activities.
School officials said the late night custodial discovered the leaks Thursday night and sprung into action.
“Brought in a lot of people that were actually here overnight to assess the damage, start putting up buckets, start doing some of the work that you see behind us with taking down ceiling tiles and trying to protect as much as possible with tarps and things like that around the building moving things out of harms way,” Des Moines Public Schools Communications Director Phil Roeder said.
Several classrooms, common areas, hallways and gymnasiums had severe leaks, and the repairs are far from over.
“We’ll have people here more or less around the clock throughout the weekend to both cleanup the damage that’s inside, start to replace ceiling tiles things like that. But then also we hope we will be able to get some work done on the roof so that we can at least get a temporary cover there,” Roeder said.
He said they hope the temporary fixes will allow students from both schools to return to class on Monday, but there will need to be a more permanent fix in the near future.
“Short term we’re going to be replacing the roof on the entire structure and that work could begin very soon. We’re in the process of talking with our insurance company, talking to contractors to determine what those costs would be, but because of the damage that was done last night we’re going to have to replace the entire roof on both schools,” Roeder said.
Roeder said they will update parents if anything changes.