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Parent concerned over leaky roof at Hermitage High; says repairs ‘overdue’

Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 18:28:52-05

HENRICO, Va. – A decades-old problem at Hermitage High School will get a permanent fix this summer, according to school leaders.

But in the meantime, the trash cans, buckets and mops with which Hermitage students and alumni are all too familiar came back out to capture water from the leaking roof after the recent snowstorm.

A concerned mother at Hermitage, who asked us not to show her face, said her son shot cellphone video at the school on Monday. The scene looked strikingly similar to what CBS 6 News investigated almost a year ago, when other parents complained about leaky roof issues.

A decades old problem at Hermitage High School will get a permanent fix this summer, according to school leaders.

A decades old problem at Hermitage High School will get a permanent fix this summer, according to school leaders.

“He said ‘it’s the cafeteria where we eat’ and then he showed me the ceiling and all of the trash cans and buckets and mops were sitting around,” the mother said.

School officials said that this type of leaking is rare, despite the repeat issue. They said that the unique roof design is part of the problem.

The roof was a 1970s design which put internal gutters under a flat roof.  In the late 1980s, work was done to fix problems that had already arisen, and a metal roof was put in on top of the sprawling school, basically one over the other.

A decades old problem at Hermitage High School will get a permanent fix this summer, according to school leaders.

A decades old problem at Hermitage High School will get a permanent fix this summer, according to school leaders.

Henrico County Schools Spokesperson Andy Jenks said that because there are essentially two roofs, a snowstorm can lead to big problems.

“What happened in this particular example is that ice dams will form on the roof,” Jenks said. “So let’s say we get a big snowfall, which we did last week, and then some of the snow will melt and then it will refreeze and  form a ice dam on the roof that redirects the water into areas that it wouldn't normally drain.”

“Yes I am concerned as it's raining today and even more snow is expected what is going to happen then?” asked the student’s mother.

She said she is worried about mold, about the ceiling tile falling or someone slipping in the mess.

Jenks said the trash cans catching water seen in the video are all cleaned up and they're addressing the roof issue.

“The folks at Hermitage have really been good about dealing with a less than ideal situation the last few years and the good news is it is being fixed,” Jenks said.  “There's a project that will be underway this summer to reroof it and eliminate it from happening again.”

Something this mom says it long overdue.