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Roof Collapses At Travis Park Church Building Amid Heavy Storms

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Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
Bricks from the roof lay in an alley next to the church

The roof of a downtown San Antonio church collapsed overnight as heavy rains passed through the Alamo City.

The storms damaged a building in the Travis Park Church complex. Until last week, it had served as a shelter for migrants coming into the U.S. via the asylum process. 

The building has been vacant most of the time, according to Gavin Rogers, a pastor at the church. Only security personnel was in the building when the roof collapsed around 1:00 a.m. No one was injured but the damage was extensive.

Bricks from the building’s roof were strewn throughout an adjacent alley.

Church leaders said on Facebook the falling roof may have damaged a fire sprinkler line.

“As best as we can tell, the collapsing roof broke the fire sprinkler line, triggering the alarm and causing major flooding of the building. After some time, we finally got the water cutoff,” the post said.

The extent of the damage to the structure was unknown. On Friday morning, workers could be seen bringing in fans and other equipment to mitigate the water damage.

“Staff is working to get water out of the church and working with a contractor on water remediation. The church's insurance adjuster and a City building inspector are currently evaluating the situation. As we learn more, we will keep the congregation informed via Facebook and direct email,” the post continued.

Church officials were not immediately available for comment.

Travis Park Church has offered services to the city’s homeless for over 20 years. Most recently the church partnered with the city of San Antonio to serve as a shelter for asylum seekers formerly held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The church was serving as a space for migrants when the city saw tens of thousands of them being dropped off over several months. The city opened its Migrant Resource Center in March to assist migrants in partnership with Travis Park Church. More than 22,000 migrants would use the church’s services in that time. 

The migrants were never housed in the building that was damaged but instead a separate part of the church. The resource center closed Friday, and the church was no longer needed to provide shelter as of last week.

Breakfast at the church’s Café Corazon will still be served on Saturday. For now, Sunday church service will be at Travis Park Plaza across the street.

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules.