A buildings and grounds employee working at a Chaska middle school fell off a ladder and died Monday morning, a spokesman for the Eastern Carver County School District confirmed.

Daniel Buesgens was attempting to repair a heater in a maintenance room of the district’s recently opened domed athletic center adjacent to Chaska Middle School East. Buesgens fell off an 8-foot ladder in a room that is not in a public area of the building sometime after 8 a.m. and was found by another school employee, said spokesman Brett Johnson.

Physical education classes held in the center were canceled Monday as Chaska police and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials investigated.

Buesgens, 51, had worked for the school district since 2015. He started as a groundskeeper and custodian at Chaska High School. In October 2016, he became a member of the districtwide grounds crew and also helped take care of maintenance needs at the Victoria Ice Arena.

“This is a very sad day for Mr. Buesgens’ friends and colleagues in the district, and especially his family,” Chaska Middle School East Principal Beth Holm said in a letter to families. “We are deeply sorry for their loss.”

While students didn’t see the incident, Holm said she sent the letter because they may have seen first responders at the school.

This is believed to be the first Chaska School District employee to die on the job in more than 25 years, Johnson said.

The Eastern Carver County Athletic Center opened in December.

Tim Harlow