Greenberg, School Roofs Safe Inspections Continue

After the large amount of snow Londonderry was recently pummeled with, and the growing concern of roofs collapsing due to the snow, Londonderry School Superintendent Nathan Greenberg has issued the following letter. Parents of students in the school district should receive the letter via email and can also view it on the School District’s website.

February 4, 2011

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We have had a few inquiries concerning the amount of snow accumulating on the roofs of our schools due to the fact that most of our school buildings have flat roofs.  Because the safety of the students as well as our staff members is our top priority, we are addressing the snow accumulation in the following manner. Our Director of Buildings & Grounds, Chuck Zappala, has been in contact with the Town Building Inspector, the architect who has designed most of our schools, the construction company who built our schools, and our roofing contractor.  Based on these discussions, we have installed the following procedures and safety measures:

  • All of our schools roofs were inspected last Monday and we will re-inspect each week and/or after every snowstorm
  • In most locations the snow depth is 8” – 14” and the corresponding weight is only about 1/3 of the designed snow load, so we still have a lot of leeway.  Areas that have large drifts on the roof are being broken up by our staff
  • Roof drains are being cleared and monitored to allow melting snow to quickly drain
  • We have taken laser measurements to document the distances from the floor to the steel roof joists in areas that have large, flat roofs.  These measurements will be redone after future snowstorms to determine if there is any deflection in the steel supports
  • If it becomes necessary, we will begin removing snow from roofs that have accumulations that are approaching design load

The grounds staff and the custodians have worked tirelessly to ensure that walkways and parking lots are as clear as possible under these difficult circumstances.

I hope this letter provides you with the appropriate level of comfort regarding the snow accumulation situation, and the procedures in place to address this issue.


Nathan Greenberg


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