High winds tore off part of the roof on Carleton North High School, strewing debris and building materials on the surrounding lawn, and damaging parts of the inside.
Principal Jason Smith said "some type of weather event" damaged the building at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday. He said no one was in the building, and no one was hurt, but officials are still assessing the damage.
"In layman's terms, it looked like someone had a can of sardines and peeled the top back," Smith said in an interview Friday.
He said the damage was concentrated in the part of the school that housed the skilled trades and technology areas, and the arts and music departments.
"There's significant water damage through the hallway," he said. "In the classroom areas, they're assessing what type pf damage there is."
He said the electrical system and tiles will definitely need repair.
"It was significant, it's not as simple as the tar being sealed back," he said. "From the hallway of the school, you can see light coming in … in at least three sections."
It's not clear whether the damage was caused by a tornado or another type of high-wind weather event. And since school's out in the summer, learning for the 420 students who attend the school is not affected — aside from a basketball summer camp that will be postponed.
Smith said staff are asked not to be in the building until officials determine it's safe.
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Smith said he's never seen anything like this happen in his area, and this kind of damage is usually seen in old barns. This school building was built in 1977, he said, and it passed inspection with flying colours.
"It has been an exceptionally well-maintained high school over the decades," he said. "There was never any question about the longevity of the building."
The school district and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure would likely be paying for the repairs, Smith said.
"Thankfully nobody was injured and we do not anticipate any disruption to the start of the new school year two months' time," Jennifer Read, spokesperson for the Anglophone West School District, said in an email.