Amanda Raus, Chris Podosek
The high winds during Thursday's overnight storm ripped part of the roof off the building and damaged 15 classrooms.
Strong winds ripped a section of rubber membrane from the roof of Ludlowe High School in Fairfield on Thursday morning.
The area affected is above the main hallway of Warner House according to a message Headmaster Greg Hatzis posted on the school’s Web site.
This left the area of the building with no moisture barrier, Hatzis said, and rain came into the building.
Ten classrooms sustained some water damage and the situation quickly got worse, but it was too late to cancel school. The buses had already begun their runs, according to the headmaster.
“Our administrative team, district maintenance department, and central office administration were on the scene quickly to assist with damage assessment and securing the building to maintain the safety of all students. No students or staff were ever in the part of the building that was affected. No one was injured or ever in danger of injury,” Hatzis wrote.
Students whose classrooms are on the second floor were sent to the gymnasium and buses were called back to dismiss at 10:15 a.m. No students or staff members were in the part of the building affected and there were no injuries, according to Hatzis.
As this was happening, there was no power in the central office, so there so no Internet connection to get messages out, so parents were alerted through the K12 Alerts system and social media.
"My staff got the press release out to the media, we got it on Facebook, we got it to the elected officials in town to get it out to as many people as we can," said Fairfield First Selectman Micahael Tetreau. "Social media is amazing with what it does."
School officials are working with contractors, the insurance company and town building and fire departments.
Classes at Ludlowe High School have been canceled for Friday, according to the Fairfield schools website. Administrators are working on a plan to relocate classrooms once school is called back in session.
The building has been cleared to host after-school activities, practices, sporting events, and other special events over the coming days that are not in the affected area, according to Hatzis.