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School closing

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Ennis Intermediate School found unsafe
ERIC CORNELISON
Editor
ENNIS - The trustees of the Ennis Independent School District has informed the public the Ennis Intermediate School was unsafe to house any students or staff this school year.

The Board of Trustees called a meeting Monday, Aug. 20 to inform the parents and staff what plan they had come up with to house the fourth and fifth grade students.

According to Superintendent Dr. Eddie Dunn, the school year will begin on Aug. 27 as planned, but the fourth graders will be have to be moved to one facility and the fifth graders to another.

With 420 fourth graders and 420 fifth graders attending the intermediate school this fall, it will be a broad task for administrators to accommodate everyone, but Dunn has assured everyone they will answer any questions parents have about their plans.

The intermediate school began having foundation problems soon after it was built which caused structural problems.

There had been discussions for some time regarding the cause of the school's rapid deterioration; Ennis ISD began to pursue legal action against some of the building's engineers and construction companies.

The district did show it had been provided false information about the soil at the site and won a settlement from the parties involved.

The district has been making repairs to the facility on an as needed basis and approximately five years ago the district addressed the problems with the exterior of the building.

According to Dunn the district has been hiring an engineering firm to come out each summer and inspect the building for safety issues.

The buildings floor continued to warp in several areas from the soil and excessive moisture.

The amount of rain received this spring and summer has created more problems at the school and the report from the engineering relayed several concerns.

Dunn said four key problems were found during this springs inspection which included the kitchen, music area, gym wall and south corridor.

Contractors reportedly cut through the concrete in those areas to look at the soil underneath.

According to Dunn they found excessive moisture and in some places standing water.

Plumbers even inspected the pipes and found several leaks under the slab.

Because of this inspection the Board of Trustees found the school was not safe and announced the school would be closed for the 2007-08 school year.

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