Congers Elementary School has been shuttered due to unsafe conditions, and local youngsters will have to attend class elsewhere next month when the academic year kicks off, according to Clarkstown School District Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton.
Morton said engineers examining Congers Elementary School determined Wednesday night that the building is too dangerous to open for the start of school. The engineers found large cracks in the back wall of the school, Morton explained, and raised concerns that a strong wind at a certain angle could cause the wall to buckle and school to collapse.
The cinderblock wall is part of the building that houses the gym, and is next to the outdoor playground. Police tape is currently cordoning off the structure.
On Thursday afternoon, Morton noted the district is working on other locations for Congers students to attend classes when school begins on Sept. 9.
“We’re looking for alternatives right now,” he said. “We’ve been looking at potential facilities all through the county and coming up short. We’re looking at housing them in our district and splitting them up in other schools.”
Morton said cracks were found in the back wall on July 1 had been repaired, but reappeared in mid-August. The district is notifying teachers that the school has been closed.
Morton added that the district’s primary concern is the safety of students and staff, and noted no one is permitted in the building. He is working on a letter notifying parents that he hopes will be distributed later today or early Friday, Morton told Patch.