School board approves emergency repairs for Benton Middle roof

1012
Bossier Sheriff's drone footage of the damage to Benton Middle School from a storm Jan. 11. (Source: BSO)

Bossier Schools has approved emergency repairs for Benton Middle School damage.

On the day students returned to school after a weekend storm damaged Benton Middle School, the Bossier Parish School Board called a special meeting to discuss an emergency declaration.

The emergency declaration allows the district to get the services they need without any delay.

“If the emergency declaration means we do not have to go out and bid, we can hire someone here locally that’s going to get the roof on fast. I would really like to see it,” said Shane Cheatham, District 11 school board member. “If we need to have another special meeting like this to keep it rolling faster, I would be all for that.”

A storm swept through Bossier Parish in the early morning hours of Jan. 11, with straight-line winds reportedly over 100 mph ripping off the northern portion of the Benton Middle School roof.

Structural engineers have tested the damaged wing of the middle school thus far to ensure no other areas will collapse and cause harm to students and faculty.

In the meantime, the district is still waiting on reports back from engineers to make sure there are not any other unforeseen damages. 

But, the district does hope to have the repairs completed by Aug. 1.

Bossier Parish schools Superintendent Mitch Downey said, “We just want to make sure we keep the faculty, students, and parents safe, and try to get the rehabilitation done.”