Big Snow Year Proves To Be Too Much For Montana State University Roof

Adrian Dolatschko | | WeatherWeather
What Was Once A Gym Image: Rachel Leathe

After a big snow year in Montana, some areas of the state are struggling with the load. On Thursday and Saturday, March 10th and 12th, two gym roofs at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman consecutively collapsed.

Two Collapsed Gym Roofs Image: Erik Peterson

With Bozeman’s water year precipitation far above average at 126% (USDA) as of March 13th, unforeseen consequences are appearing. 

Montana Precipitation Levels Image: United States Department of Agriculture

The structural failure of the gym buildings and snow conditions are unprecedented in MSU’s 125-year history. According to MSU president President Waded Cruzado

“This has been an unusual winter, and it is not over yet, we cannot predict what other storms may arrive in coming weeks and we want to be prepared.”

Although the gym roofs are relatively flat, they have survived harsh winters since their opening in the 1970s. The complete university fitness center is now closed for safety reasons. Recent snow conditions have led to a far-reaching evaluation of existing structures on campus. Similarly, snow management techniques will be refined to meet the unprecedented conditions.

In a statement, Cruzado remarked

“As unfortunate as this event has been, I am grateful for the fact that not one individual was injured.” “My goal is that out of this unfortunate incident, we will build an even stronger university.”

Although the MSU community was shocked by the roof collapses, the administration is acting fast to adapt to changing snow conditions. With a record-setting snow year all across the West, previously unseen side effects are appearing.

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