McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 21, 2013

Parker Intermediate Center school inspection set for Thursday

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — More inspections were  planned for the Parker Intermediate School Center Thursday, while school officials wait for experts to determine what caused the problems that recently beset the building.

Those problems included floors that buckled, several windows that popped out, and a flood of water that poured down first floor hallways and seeped into classrooms on Aug. 13 after a water line broke underneath the flooring.

McAlester Public Schools Superintendent Marsha Gore said an insurance adjuster was expected in McAlester Thursday afternoon. Gore said the insurance adjuster will be accompanied by someone trying to determine the source of the water that flooded the building.

While it’s obvious the water came from a broken water line, experts are trying  to determine what caused the line to break.

School officials plan on having the building repaired, although it’s not yet been determined everything those repairs might entail.

Teachers at Parker have been allowed back inside the building to retrieve classroom equipment and personal items for the time being.

“We’re encouraging people not to move everything, because we’re going to move back,” Gore said Thursday.

And although school officials don’t yet have a target gate for when that will occur, there is a goal in mind.

“Our goal is to get in as soon as possible,” said Gore.

The mishap occurred the day before the first scheduled back-to-school day at Parker — where approximately 400 fifth and sixth grade students attend classes.

As the water started gushed through the building last week, teachers and other MPS personnel who were on the site poured from the building. A preliminary inspection deemed it unsafe for classroom use, prompting some major changes.

Despite the dilemma, students at Parker were able to attend classes on schedule the following morning — at the nearby McAlester Campus of Eastern Oklahoma State College.

On Monday, fifth grade students began attending classes at the former St. John’s Catholic School on the grounds of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 300 E. Washington Ave.

Sixth grade students have continued to attend classes on the Eastern Campus, although students are bused to the Fine Arts building at the high school for band classes and other classes.

Gore said Thursday the new classroom situation has been working out, thanks to the efforts of a lot of individuals. Students are adapting to the classroom changes as well.

“Kids are pretty resilient,” she said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

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