Briarcliff Elementary opens after unsafe roof forced closing

Braircliff Elementary School in the Shoreham-Wading River School District reopened today after being closed all last week due to an unsafe roof.

Students were off last Monday and were relocated for the remainder of the week to either Wading River or Miller Avenue elementary schools, where classes took place in libraries and gymnasiums.

A ceiling tile fell in Briarcliff’s multi-purpose room, which serves as a gymnasium, during winter recess two weeks ago. Shoring has since been installed throughout the ceiling, and the school has received a Certificate of Occupancy from the State Education Department.

The gymnasium and connected library will remain unoccupied until the roof is fully repaired, according to Superintendent Harriet Copel. The cost of repairs will be covered by the school’s insurance company at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The two rooms are expected to be open for the start of next school year, Dr. Copel said. In the meantime, gym classes will be held outside, weather permitting, and alternative arrangements for library use are yet to be determined.

Dr. Copel said students have adjusted well to the school closing and reopening, and the school community has been understanding over the last two weeks.

“With everyone’s cooperation and support, the children had a very successful week last week at the other two elementary schools, and they’re very happy to be back in their regular school,” she said.