Meeker school repair remains on hold

The Meeker School District continues to await information it needs before it can authorize repairs to its trouble-stricken elementary school.

“We have not given the go-ahead for repairs to begin yet,” Superintendent Susan Goettel said last week.

However, the district continues to hope structural repairs to the school can be made in time for it to be opened again to students next fall.

“It gets tighter by the day, doesn’t it?” Goettel said, but then added, “That is still our hope, and that is still what we’re working toward.”

The school first opened for the 2010–11 school year, but it was shuttered before the start of this school year after structural deficiencies were discovered. The company that designed and built it, Neenan Co., agreed to cover the cost of improving lateral stability and making the school better able to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Neenan also drew scrutiny because of structural problems at other schools in the state.

During planning for the Meeker repairs, the district learned the seismic soil classification at the school is different from what was determined before it was built. That classification considers the ability of earthquakes to travel through soil.

That new information means some additional structural upgrades will be required, but not at Neenan’s expense because the improper seismic classification was based on the work of another company.

“We’re waiting on some pricing as far as what the additional repairs for the soils work will entail,” Goettel said.

The board hopes to have that information in time to authorize repairs during its Feb. 7 meeting.

Goettel said the repairs could take five months. She said the district this week began making some preliminary preparations for it by starting to take stock of remaining district property in the building and protecting it from things such as dust during construction.

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