Partial roof collapse closes Lee Middle & High School

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A partial roof collapse has closed Lee Middle & High School in Wyoming.

The damage to the roof on the west side of the building was discovered Thursday. The cave-in happened over at least one room in a section of the school that was built in 1925.

Video taken by Drone 8 shows the extent of the damage. In addition to the roof collapse, an exterior wall can be seen bowing slightly, with a crack in the brick masonry running down the wall.

Godfrey-Lee Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Polston says the collapse happened overnight. The cause of the collapse is unknown, but Polston said he suspects recent heavy rains may have played a role in the incident.

Fortunately, students are on summer break and no one was injured.

The district has told staff not to report to the building at 1335 Lee St. SW. The school district says an architect and structural engineer are assessing the damage, and no one should enter the building for any reason until it’s deemed safe.

Crews are also working to tarp the roof to prevent any additional damage from future rain.

Polston says the damage will be covered by insurance.

In Michigan, it’s up to school districts to keep their buildings safe. The only time the state or the city steps in to inspect is when there’s new construction.

Polston said the district checks the roof of every school building every 10 years, though there’s no state or city ordinance or law that requires that.

“Our No. 1 priority is safety,” he said.

The district is now reviewing its inspection policy and says it will make any necessary changes to ensure safety of students and staff.

24 Hour News 8 pulled Wyoming city inspection documents that show the last time Lee High School was inspected by the city was in 2014 when there were problems with a different portion of the roof because of snow buildup.

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