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Fearing Roof Collapse, Sparta, N.J., Schools Call Early Dismissal

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SPARTA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Schools across the Sparta School District called early dismissals Tuesday after the weight of snow and ice on one rooftop prompted fears about a potential collapse.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, staff members  at the Helen Morgan School noticed falling ceiling tiles in a classroom building. The problem, however, did not appear to be a water leak from the roof.

“Took the tiles down, inspected the roof, and we revealed some structural issues with the trusses in that classroom,” said Sparta Schools Superintendent Dennis Tobin.

Sparta school officials decided to have the roofs inspected — not just at Helen Morgan, but at all the school buildings in the district.

“Knowing the amount of snow and ice on all of our school buildings, that prompted us to have early dismissal as a precautionary measure,” Tobin said.

As of 5 p.m., school officials had not yet decided whether classes will be held Wednesday or in which buildings. A decision is expected Tuesday night.

Heavy snow also was a concern in Berkeley Heights, N.J., where Columbia Middle School had to move a few of its classes Tuesday after a section of its roof bowed.

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