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New details into roof collapse at Albuquerque charter school

6 min read

It’s video people just can’t stop talking about. What’s left of a new school gym after it’s roof collapsed Sunday night. “You can clearly see that there’s a lot of structural damage,” David Reza, an aerial thermographer with Rocky Mountain Roofing Services, said.It all happened at Explore Academy and just days before school officials were planning to mark the completion of the project. Action 7 News On The Go: Download our app for freeIt was conducted by AIC General Contractor, but there were some concerns. “It makes me wonder where the checks and balances were,” Reza said.According to a letter sent out to parents and staff, leaders say the gym had an inspection on March 6. It was conducted by the city of Albuquerque’s planning department.In it, officials found a dipping of the truss. “A truss is going to be a wood frame member or a steel frame member,” Reza said.Stay up-to-date: The latest headlines from KOAT Action 7 NewsYet the school says the city allowed the work to continue. Work didn’t officially stop until March 25, when the truss continued to dip. The city stepped in again and asked leaders to hire a third-party inspector. They say it was ordered, but soon enough, the damage was already done. “Thank God nobody was around,” Reza said. “That’s one of the things that kind of went through my mind.”The aerial thermographer has been with Rocky Mountain Roofing for years. He says that while the possibilities as to why the roof collapsed are still unknown, there’s a lot of cleanup on the way. “You’re looking at some high-end material, or at least some material that withstands quite a bit of strength,” he said. “So to go in there and clean it all up, it’s going to take quite a long time.”School officials say that because the gym never had another inspection, they were planning to move the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside or even postpone the event. However, the damage happened before they were able to make the final decision. KOAT also reached out to the city. Here are the answers to the questions we asked, provided by Tim Walsh. He’s the public information coordinator for their planning department.How many inspections did the project have throughout it’s timeline?”75.”We’re hearing reports that the company failed a building frame inspection on March 6. Is that true? If so, what additional details can you tell us?”For this gymnasium roof project, they failed a building frame inspection on March 6, and the Building Inspector required corrections related to the building’s safety. Our Building Inspectors revisited the site on the 15th to inspect progress on the corrections. While some of the construction was sufficient, our Building Inspector once again flagged a deficiency in the construction. The Building Inspector then required a secondary engineering firm to submit calculations, called a peer review, to support the building construction plans. The Building Safety Division never received such secondary engineering calculations.”Any other building/inspection concerns that the city noticed with the project?”The old side of the property, which had no ongoing construction, was inspected and cleared by Chavez Engineering morning. The Building Safety Division has not received any reports that the occupied building has any building or safety issues. Except for the gym, the new construction has not had any reported safety concerns or failed inspections. As part of the building process, they will continue to undergo inspections as the project progresses.”Has the company had issues in the past? With other projects?”No.”What’s the next step for the city after this? We heard that a building complaints investigator will be at the school today to figure out what went wrong. “Our Building Safety Inspectors conducted an onsite visit this morning to evaluate the extent of the damage, the methods used to secure the property, and posted an Unsafe Structure Notice, which requires all new construction on the gymnasium to halt. The Building Safety Division will also require an engineering firm to submit a report regarding the safety of the structure and the corrective actions to bring the building back into compliance.”Follow us on social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

It’s video people just can’t stop talking about. What’s left of a new school gym after it’s roof collapsed Sunday night.

“You can clearly see that there’s a lot of structural damage,” David Reza, an aerial thermographer with Rocky Mountain Roofing Services, said.

It all happened at Explore Academy and just days before school officials were planning to mark the completion of the project.

Action 7 News On The Go: Download our app for free

It was conducted by AIC General Contractor, but there were some concerns.

“It makes me wonder where the checks and balances were,” Reza said.

According to a letter sent out to parents and staff, leaders say the gym had an inspection on March 6. It was conducted by the city of Albuquerque’s planning department.

In it, officials found a dipping of the truss.

“A truss is going to be a wood frame member or a steel frame member,” Reza said.

Stay up-to-date: The latest headlines from KOAT Action 7 News

Yet the school says the city allowed the work to continue. Work didn’t officially stop until March 25, when the truss continued to dip.

The city stepped in again and asked leaders to hire a third-party inspector. They say it was ordered, but soon enough, the damage was already done.

“Thank God nobody was around,” Reza said. “That’s one of the things that kind of went through my mind.”

The aerial thermographer has been with Rocky Mountain Roofing for years.

He says that while the possibilities as to why the roof collapsed are still unknown, there’s a lot of cleanup on the way.

“You’re looking at some high-end material, or at least some material that withstands quite a bit of strength,” he said. “So to go in there and clean it all up, it’s going to take quite a long time.”

School officials say that because the gym never had another inspection, they were planning to move the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside or even postpone the event.

However, the damage happened before they were able to make the final decision.

KOAT also reached out to the city. Here are the answers to the questions we asked, provided by Tim Walsh. He’s the public information coordinator for their planning department.

How many inspections did the project have throughout it’s timeline?

“75.”

We’re hearing reports that the company failed a building frame inspection on March 6. Is that true? If so, what additional details can you tell us?

“For this gymnasium roof project, they failed a building frame inspection on March 6, and the Building Inspector required corrections related to the building’s safety. Our Building Inspectors revisited the site on the 15th to inspect progress on the corrections. While some of the construction was sufficient, our Building Inspector once again flagged a deficiency in the construction. The Building Inspector then required a secondary engineering firm to submit calculations, called a peer review, to support the building construction plans. The Building Safety Division never received such secondary engineering calculations.”

Any other building/inspection concerns that the city noticed with the project?

“The old side of the property, which had no ongoing construction, was inspected and cleared by Chavez Engineering [Tuesday] morning. The Building Safety Division has not received any reports that the occupied building has any building or safety issues. Except for the gym, the new construction has not had any reported safety concerns or failed inspections. As part of the building process, they will continue to undergo inspections as the project progresses.”

Has the company had issues in the past? With other projects?

“No.”

What’s the next step for the city after this? We heard that a building complaints investigator will be at the school today to figure out what went wrong.

“Our Building Safety Inspectors conducted an onsite visit this morning to evaluate the extent of the damage, the methods used to secure the property, and posted an Unsafe Structure Notice, which requires all new construction on the gymnasium to halt. The Building Safety Division will also require an engineering firm to submit a report regarding the safety of the structure and the corrective actions to bring the building back into compliance.”

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