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School district facilities and transportation crews worked extra to keep ahead of the snow

HOLLY SCHOLZ - The school district facilities crew removed snow from the edges of the building roofs to prevent damage.

The Crook County School District, along with surrounding districts, canceled classes four days in a row when the region was hit with late-season snow storms the last week of February.

While many families were homebound, district employees were out in the weather, working to ensure that parking lots were cleared, buildings were safe, and buses were ready to go.

"We had heroes in both the transportation and facilities," CCSD Superintendent Sara Johnson said earlier this week. "When that snow started coming down, Leland's team was on our school grounds all throughout the weekend and nearly all 24 hours of the day."

She said Leland Bliss, the district facilities and safety manager, and his crew did a good job of keeping their facilities safe. They removed snow from all of the parking lots and made the entries accessible.

Bliss reported that they had to hire a contractor to clear the Crook County High School parking lot once, but the rest of it was done by their own staff.

The facilities team immediately started removing snow from the edges of building roofs. They had a few minor issues, including leaks and vent pipe damage, but much less than two years ago.

"They stayed right on top of the incoming weather," Johnson said.

Bliss reported that his crew spent a significant amount of time on the roof at the Crook County Middle School gym. They started removing snow from the roof as soon as snow levels reached 10 inches.

"We also measured random areas and weighed the snow to ensure we did not exceed the maximum snow load rating of 25 pounds per square foot," Bliss reported.

"Our district was carefully looking at the structures and making sure that the snow was managed so that our buildings were safe and were not in jeopardy," Johnson said.

Similarly, Transportation Supervisor Michelle Williams and some of her crew were at their headquarters each day, keeping the snow off the buses so they could pull the buses out and have them ready to go as soon as the roads were passable.

"People were working very hard throughout that whole snowstorm, and we wanted to recognize them for the extra work they did to make it so when our roads were ready to go, our buses and our buildings were ready to go," Johnson said, noting that the district received many complimentary messages from families and even from the City of Prineville.

"We have a lot of people to thank for that. Leland's team and Michelle's team did a great job," Johnson said.

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