Schools temporarily closed due to structural concerns
Contractors working on a renovation project raised concerns about the structural integrity of one of the auditorium walls due to potentially compromising deterioration
Structural concerns at a more than century-old school building in western Michigan have prompted officials to temporarily close it and shift nearly 700 students to virtual learning.
Contractors working on a renovation project at Innovation Central High School and Grand Rapids Montessori Middle High School raised concerns about the structural integrity of one of the auditorium walls due to potentially compromising deterioration, Grand Rapids Public Schools said on its website.
The Montessori school is located inside Innovation Central. Classes at the building were cancelled Wednesday.
“Because of the construction, the area had been blocked off, but new information prompted district leaders to cancel classes at the building so the matter could be investigated further and to ensure the safety of scholars and staff,” the district said.
Water entering the building through it's roof over the years “has rusted out some of the support beams,” district chief of staff Larry Johnson told WOOD-TV.
“We wanted to get the students out so that we didn’t increase any anxiety of them seeing a bunch of folks running around with hard hats and taking pictures and things of that nature,” he added.
Students are expected to return to the building on Monday. The district said repairs can be made while students are in the building.