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Dublin and Pulaski middle schools have closed their gyms and an auditorium.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Parts of two Pulaski County schools were closed this week after an architectural survey found structural problems in some external walls.
School Superintendent Tom Brewster said the administration had hired OWPR Architects and Engineers to evaluate Dublin middle and elementary schools and Pulaski middle school - all built in the 1950s - as part of a capital improvement planning process.
The firm found abnormalities in external walls in the middle schools and brought in another group of engineers to do more detailed structural testing. Brewster said that testing found that the walls were bulging in both gymnasiums and in the Pulaski Middle School auditorium.
The affected areas were closed off Tuesday morning before 8 a.m., shortly after school officials were notified of the problems, Brewster said.
Only one of the problematic walls is load-bearing, he said.
Affected activities and classes, including band and choir classes at Pulaski middle have been moved to other buildings or rooms within the affected schools.
The problem could not be detected without special scanning equipment, the superintendent said.
"We're glad we did the architectural study," he said.
Design work to shore up the walls is under way and should be complete in the next five days. The project will go to bid within 10 days, after which Brewster said he will present repair options and costs to the school board.
Officials expect the gyms and the auditorium to remain closed for most of this year.
Meanwhile, Brewster said the report on future building needs that led to all this is expected to be completed sometime this spring.
Brewster said the report should include recommendations on the best way forward, whether that be remodeling the old buildings or constructing new schools.
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