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Basketball fan hospitalized after Bay Area school’s ceiling crumbles mid-game

The damage at Westmoor High School after acoustic material fell from the gym's ceiling | Courtesy Jefferson Union High School District

A basketball fan was hospitalized after pieces of acoustic material fell from the ceiling at Westmoor High School in Daly City.

Westmoor’s freshman team was hosting Mills on Tuesday night when some of the material came down late in the second quarter, landing on a Mills parent. The game was immediately stopped, and the injured fan was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Pieces of the acoustic material also fell to the ground during a January 2022 varsity practice, but the team was on the other end of the gym at the time. No players or coaches were injured during the prior incident.

“Jefferson Union High School District was aware of the gym ceiling problems last year,” the school district said in a statement to The Standard. “This was addressed by the installer and the district was assured the gym was safe to use. As always, the safety of our students, staff, and community is a top priority of JUHSD.”

Staff members survey the damage after acoustic material fell from the ceiling at Westmoor High School. | Courtesy Jefferson Union High School District

Until the gym is repaired, the Rams’ basketball teams will likely be forced to play all of their games on the road, as they did after the ceiling damage in 2022. 

It is unclear if Westmoor’s boys varsity team will be able to host any of its five remaining home games on campus. The girls varsity team is supposed to have two more home games. Both the boys and girls are supposed to host crosstown rival Jefferson for Senior Night on Feb. 10, but the logistics for that night are now unknown.

Westmoor’s gym wasn’t the only one in the JUHSD to suffer damages on Tuesday. Terra Nova’s boys basketball team was supposed to host South San Francisco on Tuesday night, but one of the gym’s backboards was shattered during a sixth period physical education class.

“It’s likely we won’t have home games the rest of the year,” Terra Nova head coach Robby Wierzba said. “We don’t have a backup gym, so we’re practicing on a half court.”

Terra Nova was also supposed to play at Westmoor on Wednesday. The Tigers have had three games postponed and a fourth canceled this month, with two prior contests axed due to flooding concerns.

“We’re making the best of what we have and staying positive,” Wierzba said. “No excuses.”

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