Heavy winds, damage lead to Goff Middle School evacuation
EAST GREENBUSH - It was a scary morning for some students at Goff Middle School as they got an early start to their holiday vacation. High speed winds tore through East Greenbush Friday morning, damaging the schools roof.
"One of the gym teachers came in and said that the roof was collapsing in the 6th grade wing and that all the 6th graders were going to have to come in the gym with us," said 8th grader, Danielle Dinovo.
Faculty and staff then went right into action.
"We immediately went into a shelter in place drill where students were asked to be in their classrooms and stay where they were," said Principal Matthew Sloane.
It was an unsettling and scary scene for many students as wind sent parts of the roof flying.
"Really working with them to calm them down. We did have some frightened students," said Sloane.
"I was kind of nervous because I didn't know if everything was going to be alright," said Danielle Dinovo.
School officials say no one was injured. All students and staff were dismissed early at 10:30 this morning. Some parents still in shock over the damage.
"Its just amazing seeing the roof tore off the way it is," said Rob Dinovo.
Weather Guard Roofing Service has crews assessing the damage. It's estimated at around $500,000.
sage below was issued by Superintendent Dr. Angela Nagle regarding the evacuation:
Dear School Community,
The severe weather that blew into our region this morning peeled off a portion of the membrane roof on the Howard L. Goff Middle School. No students or staff were injured during this incident. District administration immediately implemented the safety plan and local authorities quickly responded and were on hand to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
As a precautionary measure, all Goff students and staff were dismissed at 10:30 this morning. While you can never foresee these types of incidents each of our buildings practices emergency evacuations, and we're proud of our students for their orderly and efficient evacuation of Goff Middle School today.
It is anticipated that students who were unable to collect all of their personal belongings prior to evacuation will be permitted to return to the building to retrieve their belongings on Thursday, December 27. Our architects believe that the building will be safe for occupancy at that time. Unfortunately, the emergency responders will not permit students into the building before then.
We would like to thank the Goff Middle School staff and our Transportation Department for ensuring our students were safely evacuated and returned to their homes. We would also like to thank the East Greenbush police and fire departments for their quick response to this emergency.
We are very fortunate to have such dedicated first responders in our community. The care they took to secure Howard L. Goff Middle School and keep our students and staff safe until they could be evacuated is commendable.
In any emergency, there are always unforeseen problems. We apologize for some issues with our emergency contact system. The phone system was effected due to power surges in the community.
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