March 27, 2015 6:28 am
Updated: March 27, 2015 12:06 pm

Roof collapses at old St. Patrick’s High School in Halifax

The collapsed roof of the old St. Patrick's High School is pictured on March 27, 2014. The roof collapsed at the corner of the building to the left of the doors.

Marieke Walsh / Global News

HALIFAX – City crews are removing parts of an exterior wall at the former St. Patrick’s High School in Halifax after part of the roof collapsed early Friday morning.

The exterior walls are twisted, and pose “an immediate safety risk,” said city spokesperson Tiffany Chase, in a statement.  No one is allowed in the building until further notice.

A motion detector alerted security to a problem in the former high school at approximately 4 a.m., said Chase.

Approximately 500 square feet of the roof, which was constructed in the 1960’s, collapsed into several classrooms, said Chase. Snow, blue sky and debris could be seen through the second floor windows of the building.

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“The building is saying ‘I’m done’,” said Lois McVannel who lives a few blocks away. Already slated for demolition this year McVannel, said she hopes it now comes down “sooner rather than later.”

“It is an eyesore and I think we should let it go.”

Fire crews responded to the call around 5 a.m. Friday and cordoned off the building and Nova Scotia Power cut electricity to the building around 6 a.m.

District 8 Councillor Jennifer Watts said her understanding is that there were concerns with the load on the roofs of many buildings due to the rain in Halifax on Thursday night.

She said monitoring of potentially dangerous spots across the city is needed to ensure people are properly protected.

No one was in the building at the time of the collapse, said Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Division Commander Lloyd Currie.

The high school was closed in 2007, but was used for other school board and community activities until it was vacated and turned over to the city in December 2013.

Chase said the tender for demolition was to close on April 7, but has now been extended so companies can address issues caused by the roof collapse.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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