Classes cancelled after Barkell Elementary School roof collapse

HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Hancock Public Schools were dismissed early Thursday morning after it was discovered that the roof of a classroom in Barkell Elementary School had caved in.

Students were already on their way to school when the damage was discovered.

"So what we though was best was to have students in custody, bring them here, house them and then make a general announcement about cancellations so that parents could make arrangements," said Hancock Public Schools superintendent Kipp Beaudoin.

One classroom had its roof cave in. Walls of adjacent classrooms were also damaged because of this, creating an unsafe environment in the back section of the school.

"So we have a couple of classrooms we need to move, which is simple enough for us, we have access to other space," said Beaudoin.

The roof collapse is being attributed to a number of factors.

“We had probably almost an inch of rain last night and we had just shoveled off the roofs probably three weeks ago, but there was heavy snow the last five to ten days,” said Beaudoin. “So we just suspect that a combination of factors lead to this collapse."

There are no estimates for the cost of the damage at this point, but it's likely that part of the school will be closed off until next academic year.

Beaudoin added, "We would not anticipate we would be able to do anything to repair the room until the weather improves."

Classes for Friday have already been canceled as crews continue to work to remove the snow and assess the damage inside. Administration hopes to have students back in school on Monday.

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