A lengthy portion of roof overhang crashed to the ground at Surrey's Colebrook Elementary last July. The Surrey School District has now sued the City of Surrey and others over the collapse.

School district sues city over collapsed school roof

Architect and others also named in civil suit involving Colebrook Elementary.

The Surrey School District has filed a civil suit alleging the City of Surrey “failed to exercise reasonable care” in inspecting the roof overhang of an addition at Colebrook Elementary – one that collapsed last summer.

The statement of claim, filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court, also names G.R. Graham Architect, WSDK Consulting Ltd. (formerly known as Pomeroy Engineering Ltd.), Tritan Construction Ltd. and several other contractors.

The lawsuit stems from an incident in July 2010 when a portion of roof at the school measuring about 75-feet long crashed to a walkway below. Fortunately, school was out for summer break and no one was hurt.

A parent at the time said during the school year, children routinely lined up underneath the overhang before class, and kindergarten teacher Suzanne Dennis said if she or her students had been there “it would have been horrendous.”

The statement of claim says “during the investigation into the cause of the collapse, it was discovered that the metal straps required to anchor the top of the canopy to the wall to prevent the top of the canopy rotating away from the wall were missing.”

Further investigation, says the lawsuit, revealed the metal straps had not been installed in the fallen section and another overhang.

The school district is seeking general and special damages as well as costs.

The elementary school, located near 54 Avenue and 125A Street, was repaired in time for the new school year last September. It was originally built in 1919, but the section of roof in question was part of an addition constructed during 1987/1988.

The allegations have not been proven in court and the defendants have not yet filed a response.