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TUESDAY, JAN. 6, 2009, 3:32 P.M.

Bauman Explains School Closures

As a safety precaution, schools in the Coeur d'Alene School District will remain closed on Wednesday to allow another day for snow assessment and removal. All activities scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday nights are also canceled. This includes the basketball games scheduled at North Idaho College because District policy is also to curtail bus transportation when schools are not in session. “We regret that this is a disappointment to our athletes and their families, however we must consider the safety of our students and the community. The roads have become very hazardous and we do not want students on the roads because of school-sponsored events,” said Superintendent Hazel Bauman. More below.



Maintenance crews were shoveling the roof of Sorensen Magnet School and several of the District's portable classrooms Tuesday. Crews were also working on the entrances and exits to parking lots and were checking to make sure storm drains remain open.




All school roofs were well within the safe snowload limits on Monday, but school officials are continuing to monitor the weight and have employed a local structural engineering company to doublecheck the snowloads.



The District’s Maintenance and Grounds snow removal team of 8 to 10 people have logged more than 900 hours since mid-December. Many employees worked shifts of 10 to 14 hours with only one or two days off in the last three weeks. The unusual snow load also taxed the District’s snow removal equipment, causing down time for repairs.



The District does not have the manpower to keep up with parking lots and also shovel roofs of its 16 school buildings, which total more than 1,250,000 square feet.



The District administration will consider the engineer’s report, the weather forecast, condition of streets and sidewalks on Wednesday afternoon before making a decision on whether to resume school on Thursday.



Meanwhile, School PLUS will be open on Wednesday at two sites, Bryan and Ramsey, but only to students who are enrolled in that program/Janet Feiler, Coeur d'Alene School District news release. 


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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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