Schools have weighty problem |

Schools have weighty problem

Jill Darby

Forty members of the California Conservation Corps were seen during the weekend high upon the rooftops of Al Tahoe Elementary and South Tahoe High schools.

Using shovels and snowblowers, conservation corps crews from South Lake Tahoe and Auburn, spent the weekend removing excess snow from the top of the school buildings to prevent a potentially dangerous build-up.

“It looked like we were going to be getting some additional storms in so we just wanted to stay ahead of it,” Lake Tahoe Unified School District Facilities Director Steve Morales said. “There was a lot of snow build up at those particular locations.”

Bill Martinez, project coordinator with the California Conservation Corps, said snow loads at Al Tahoe Elementary and South Tahoe High were becoming too heavy. In the case of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, compacted snow on the rooftops could cause them to collapse.

“The snow load is getting to the point where it could cause a problem so the school district contacted us,” Martinez said. “Apparently these are the schools that have a lower capacity for snow load so they need more assistance. The roofs would not withstand snow load and an earthquake, so we had to remove the snow so the schools can stay open.”

Conservation crew members used ladders to ascend the school tops, and a loader to tow up snowblowers and other equipment.

The California Conservation Corps is made up of men and women ages 18 to 23. Involvement in the corps includes a year of natural resource work and emergency response throughout the state. More than 80,000 young people have participated in the California Conservation Corps since its establishment in 1976.

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