Marian Central reopens after lightning strike

Marian Central Catholic High School reopened on Monday after it closed for about a week after a chimney on the roof of its building was hit by lightning.

Before opening again, Mike Shukis, assistant superintendent of Marian Central, said they had “every inspector” come to the school to give them the OK.

Though Shukis said it would be all right to go in on Friday, the school didn’t open until Monday because the school wanted to check with a couple of other inspectors, he said.

“After the lightning strike, there was quite a bit of debris on the roof that needed to be picked up, such as broken bricks and a lot of rocks,” Shukis said.

“We actually found a brick over 150 yards away from the chimney,” Shukis said. “We had some bricks go right through some metal air conditioners. The force of the lightning strike was pretty large.”

Very large pieces of cement did manage to enter a couple of classrooms and the hallway but did not reach the floor, as they were held up by ceiling joists. The heaviest one was 4,000 pounds, Shukis said.

At last count, Shukis said there were 33 holes in the ceiling and in the roof.

“We find new ones on a daily basis,” Shukis said.

The roof was fixed enough to let students back into the building, Shukis said, but there will have to be more repairs in the future.

In addition, the school is still having electrical issues. Some outlets in the classrooms and hallways work and some don’t, Shukis said.

Shukis said the building engineer estimated it should be about a month before everything is really back to where it should be.

When the lightning strike first happened, Shukis said the faculty and staff present in the building at the time did an “outstanding” job of keeping students safe.

“I’d like to commend them for the work they did,” he said.

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