Tree falls, causes damage to Swanzey school building
SWANZEY — Monadnock Regional School District officials are scrambling to relocate the district’s Title I and Ready for Kindergarten programs after a large pine tree fell and caused significant damage to the Wilcox Building where both programs were housed.
District Business Administrator Jane E. Fortson said she was on her way to work early Friday morning when she saw the damage and town police at the scene.
“So it happened sometime overnight,” she said.
The pine tree was over 100-feet tall and very wide, and was perhaps dislodged by the heavy rains this summer, she said.
The tree was on a ledge and the roots appear to have rotted out, she said.
“It just looked like a bad tooth that got pulled,” she said.The Wilcox Building on Old Homestead Highway/Route 32, just past the district’s middle and high school buildings, is more than a 160 years old, having been built by the town in 1850.
In the 1960s the building became part of the school district when it was formed.
About 15 months ago the 3,000-square-foot building was renovated to house the district’s Ready for Kindergarten program.
“They made it absolutely beautiful,” she said.
The building is assessed at $336,000.
The programs could be temporarily placed in a district conference room or modular building, Fortson said.
“We just haven’t had time to think about it,” she said.
The tree was removed Friday, but appears to have destroyed the building. Insurance agents are still assessing the damage, though, she said.
In the meantime, Fortson said the district is asking people to stay away from the building.
“I don’t believe it to be safe at all,” she said.