McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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August 13, 2013

Parker Intermediate School in McAlester evacuated, closed

McALESTER — Parker Intermediate School in McAlester has been ordered closed and school officials said no classes will be held there on Wednesday — and perhaps longer.

School officials were scrambling Tuesday afternoon to try and find an alternate site for Parker students to go Wednesday.

Teachers at the school were inside the building Tuesday afternoon, getting ready for the opening day of McAlester Public Schools on Wednesday, when suddenly several classroom windows popped out, water poured down hallways and parts of the building started to crack.

No students were at the school, at 1310 N. Sixth St., on Tuesday, but teachers and other staff were inside getting ready for opening day. Emergency personnel rushed to the scene and the building was ordered evacuated.

No injuries were reported.

A quick inspection by school and city officials, along with McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management Director Trent Myers, determined the school should remain closed, at least until it can be inspected by a structural engineer.

As a result, MPS Superintendent Marsha Gore said no classes will be held at the school on Wednesday — although school officials were meeting Tuesday afternoon to try and find an alternative site, or sites, where Parker students can attend the first day of class.

Approximately 400 MPS fifth- and sixth-grade students who attend the school were expected to be rerouted to another facility, or facilities.

Gore asked sightseers to stay away from the school and the doors to a parking lot on the school’s north side have been ordered locked.

Several windows had broken and popped away from the building on its north side. Several cracks in the building were observed; gutters had popped loose and water from inside the building streamed outside.

One of the theories is that a water line in the building broke and caused the building to buckle, although that had not been determined as the origin of the problem.

The News-Capital will report more information as it becomes available.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

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