• Nearly 90 children under 5 evacuated from school in Dedham


    DEDHAM, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Almost 90 children under the age of 5 were evacuated from a school in Dedham Friday afternoon. 

    At about 11 a.m., teachers in the Little Sprouts preschool program at the Dexter Elementary School on High Street reported hearing cracking sounds above the ceiling in a classroom. The program director made the decision to evacuate the 88 children and staff from the school, according to Superintendent Michael Welch. The children and staff were able to wait in school buses to stay warm. Parents were sent an email and asked to pick up their kids. 

    Fire officials climbed onto the roof and the building inspector checked the interior for signs of structural damage or any other problems. Most of the snow on the roof had been removed, but the remaining snow had hardened into ice that was about 3 inches thick "adjacent to roof drains in the area above the classroom where the original noise was heard," according to Welch.

    The building inspector did not find any structural stress and a licensed structural engineer completed a "thorough inspection of the structure."

    Facilities Director Denise Moroney confirmed that Fred Cowen of Cowen Associates, Consulting Structural Engineers inspected the roof and confirmed that it is safe to re-occupy the school on Monday morning.

    Work crews will be on the roof this weekend to perform mitigation work on any remaining snow and ice.

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