INWOOD, Iowa (KELO) — Insurance adjusters are in Inwood, Iowa, Monday assessing the damage after part of the roof collapsed at the Community Center over the weekend. The steel-frame building likely couldn’t support the heavy snow that’s accumulated this winter. No one was hurt. But Saturday night’s collapse could have taken a tragic turn, if not for a change of plans by some young basketball players.
The roof of the gymnasium at Inwood’s Community Center caved-in quickly.
“It just went. There was a few people in the meeting room, had a family get-together and they said it just went. No warning, no nothing. It went. Just very sudden,” Inwood city maintenance worker Scott Hanson said.
The people in the meeting room down the hall weren’t hurt. But the collapse scattered insulation everywhere. Firefighters arrived on Saturday night to check on the damage.
“It’s kind of surreal. You walk in and see so much destruction. The place that I grew up playing basketball in and my kids play basketball in there and to see it all on the floor and you see open sky, it’s kind of hard to believe. It’s pretty shocking,” Rick Rozeboom of Inwood Fire Rescue said.
A group of teens typically plays basketball in the gym every Saturday night. Fortunately, last Saturday night, they decided to go snowboarding, instead.
“We’re very fortunate. We could have had fatalities or major injuries, so the gym itself was empty at the time,” Hanson said.
Dust and debris need to be cleaned up in the town’s library and at city hall on the east side of the community center, but otherwise there’s no serious damage. But rebuilding the west half of the center could be a year away. And while the town has lost its gym for now, everyone is grateful the collapse didn’t take a tragic toll.
“Praise God no one was in there because it could have been really bad. Really bad,” Rozeboom said.
Both the library and city hall are temporarily closed. But the clerk is still able to get city business done by working from home.
A structural engineer is also being called in to see what it will take to replace the gym.