GALT — Officials with the Galt Joint Union High School District received a shock at the close of the 2018-19 school year when a building inspection found severe damage to the roof and walls of the Liberty Ranch High School Building 700.
Superintendent William Spalding said on Thursday said the building, also known as the Ag Building on campus, is only eight years old, and exposure to water and rain over the course of that time caused the damage.
“We had an inspection team up there looking at the roof earlier this year, and everything seemed to be in good shape,” he said. “But when we had crews up there doing some forensic work, they found issues with the structure.”
One of those issues was with a parapet wall, or the part of the exterior that provides five to six feet of vertical barrier along the building’s roof.
Spalding said crews found the parapet had not been installed properly, causing water to seep into the wall and cause the damage.
Crews began opening the walls, and the more stucco and other material they pulled away, the more damage they found, Spalding said.
He added that crews found the building’s south wall suffered the majority of the damage due to this year’s storms approaching from the direction.
According to a presentation at an Aug. 1 meeting of the district’s board of trustees, 35 percent of roof sheeting was damaged.
Five agricultural classes in the building were displaced, including agricultural biology, mechanics, welding and floriculture.
Spalding said the district was able to relocate those classes at the neighboring alternative school, as well as Galt High School.
He said he didn’t know exactly how many students were affected by the relocation, but there are 30 in each class, four periods a day.
“About 40 to 50 percent of the students at the school are in an Ag class,” he said. “It’s what we do in Galt. (The damage and relocation) have definitely been felt.”
Spalding said the building should be reopened some time next year.
There was also concern that the school’s gym and library suffered similar damage at the Aug. 1 board of trustees meeting, and inspections of those structures, which are about 10 years old, were performed this week.
Preliminary testing indicate those two buildings are still in good shape, Spalding said.