Centre/Gym Hit By Water After Roof Collapse

No serious injuries, but damage to be repaired.


On, Monday April 11, a massive amount of rain hit the Jackson metro area. Shortly after 6pm , the ceiling in the lobby between the basketball gym and the Global Leadership Institute auditorium, Lindsay Hall, collapsed as the pressure of the water that had built up broke through.

Dr. Jason Walton, Mr. Adam Mangana, Mr. Randolph Smith, and Mr. Nathan Devine were vacuuming the water that had leaked through moments before the ceiling collapsed. They could hear popping and buckling in the ceiling. Mr. Kenneth McDade was nearby getting ready for the spring play The Jungle Book, and he heard something that sounded “like a tree limb breaking.”

Walton, Mangana, and Smith took off outside after seeing the first signs of the roof collapsing, but they did not totally escape the crashing of the water. Mr. Smith was caught directly under the collapse, and Mr. Dakota Kraus and Mr. Mangana went back to help him get out. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries.

Dr. Walton said, “I do not know what a tsunami feels like, but I have an idea now.” He described it as a swimming pool rushing through the ceiling.

Prep junior William Leech was practicing for the play. He saw the pressure of the ceiling on the verge of collapse when he was in the senior high helping mop the floors from leaks. He went home to get a massive tarp and a shop-vacuum. When he came back he saw Patriot Avenue flooded with debris and heard alarms ringing. “I came up to the foyer and saw water and debris billowing out of the doorway. Then, I went inside the gym and saw that it was completely flooded, the doors blasted off were lying almost five feet away from half-court, and cinder blocks from the gym wall scattered across the floor.”

Mrs. Marsha Hobbs engineering class calculated that 18,700 gallons of water had built up on top of the roof prior to the collapse. It was figured that the rain water crashed onto the gym floor at a rate of 31 feet per second.

Even though there were no serious injuries, Prep did suffer damage to the gym lobby and adjacent areas from the waves of water that reached the ceiling. The glass door separating the foyer and the auditorium was shattered. The crash broke through the gym door as the door flew almost to half court of the basketball court. The basketball court suffered water damage, and the cinder blocks of one wall were ripped out by the force of the water.

The art gallery was flooded, but the paintings suffered no damage. Also, the theatre was okay, as only a small amount of water reached the opening. The Jungle Book,  which is  scheduled to premiere on April 23, will still go on as planned.

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Photo courtesy Hubert Worley
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Photo by Nevin Wells
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Photo courtesy Michael McAnally
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Photo courtesy Hubert Worley
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Photo courtesy Hubert Worley
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Photo courtesy Hubert Worley
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Photo courtesy Hubert Worley.

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