Students at Cedar Falls High School will get another day off from classes today as demolition crews work on the school’s crumbling smokestack. Work was expected to begin on removing a large portion of the 80-foot-tall structure, but strong winds called off the job. Secondary school spokesman Dan Conrad says at least half of the smokestack has been removed.

He says it will all eventually need to be taken down but believes there’s now no danger of it falling over. Teachers noticed a crack in the smokestack Tuesday afternoon, which ran most of the way up. Crews had to work through the night into early Wednesday to stabilize the 20,000 pound structure. Conrad says the rest of the smokestack will have to come down.

It may be later this winter — over the next few months. Conrad says the district will use money from its physical plant and equipment levy fund to pay for the project. He couldn’t put an exact figure on what it would cost but notes this is why money is kept in a reserve, emergency fund. Classes will resume at Cedar Falls High School on Monday.

There will be no classes districtwide on Friday for a scheduled teacher in-service day.

By Scott Fenzloff, KCNZ, Cedar Falls